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No-Smoking Wave Hits Ocean City

A city leader says tourists will appreciate a day on the beach without inhaling secondhand smoke.

Ocean City leaders will discuss a proposed ban on smoking on the city's beaches. File|Patch
Ocean City leaders will discuss a proposed ban on smoking on the city's beaches. File|Patch

Lighting up a cigarette on the beach in Ocean City may soon be banned by leaders in the summer resort mecca.

Eight million people visit Ocean City every year, which means beaches are crowded during the summer months. Some City Council members say they don’t want non-smokers to take in secondhand smoke by the water.

“This is very disturbing to a lot of people. I don’t like it personally when I’m on the beach,” Brent Ashley, Ocean City councilman, told WJZ TV.

If Ashley has his way, smoking on the beach will soon be illegal and carry a fine.

“We get complaints about the secondhand smoke. People who use the beach don’t want their kids to be exposed to the secondhand smoke,” Ashley said.

Other residents say an outright ban on smoking goes too far.

“I don’t think it would actually be that bad out here on the beach with all the open air and stuff,” said Richard Rinker, Ocean City resident.

If the smoking ban is approved, the town would have to figure out how police officers would enforce the new ban. Delaware’s state beaches, Dewey, Rehoboth and Fenwick, are smoke-free, WJZ notes.

While some Ocean City business owners are expected to oppose the smoking ban, Councilman Ashley says the city will gain more tourists who favor smoke-free beaches than will be lost by a no-smoking policy. 

The proposed smoking ban will likely be discussed at the April 16 City Council work session.

Mary Vecellio April 08, 2014 at 07:18 AM
Alcohol and smoking are both ADDICTING! Seems like alcohol is more of a problem in your family, Pam, than the smoking. I have zero tolerance for either. I was once married to an alcoholic and he died because of his drinking -- and he smoked like a chimney! You don't know enough about second-hand smoking which can be MORE dangerous than smoking!
Mike Lurz April 23, 2014 at 09:37 PM
The bottom line here people is choice, as in freedom. If the government is going to dictate our choices in these matters they will lose. Prohibition does NOT work as history has shown..period. Many have voiced their choice not to smoke, drink, even use foul language. Many choose the opposite, if you want people to respect your choices you must allow them theirs…a clear simple point that has been lost due to many that believe everyone MUST follow their choices..Just sad.
PH April 24, 2014 at 09:37 AM
^5 Mike
Eric Weller July 24, 2014 at 03:41 PM
Please like this page to support making OCMD beaches smoke-free! https://www.facebook.com/MakeOceanCityMarylandASmokeFreeBeach

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