REHOBOTH BEACH, De. - The Rehoboth Beach City Commission decided this week to start researching a smoking ban on the beach and boardwalk.
The commission will draft an ordinance at their next meeting on February 10.
According to city commissioner Stan Mills, in this workshop phase they will decide whether to make the ban in certain zones or the entire beach and boardwalk area.
Steve Curson lives in Rehoboth Beach and brought the idea to the commission. The issue hits especially at home for him because his mother passed away from lung cancer five years ago. In September, he began sending out petitions. He received overwhelming support in the community.
"I'm definitely positive thinking about it, like I turned in over 300 signatures," he said. "I have many more online as well, and what I'm hoping that happens is that they ban it on the beaches and boardwalk."
Some people however think a ban would be a breach of rights.
"I think there's just too much regulation in general, everybody's being told what they can do, where they can do it, how they can do it," Justin Senesi said. "At what point does it end, so I think they ought to have the right to smoke in public, if it's not a private business."
Curson feels having to breathe in second-hand smoke is a violation of people's rights.
"There's no safe level of second hand smoke and one of the other quotes we've been using is smoking's optional but breathing is not," he explained.
Another reason the Rehoboth City Commission is getting involved is due to the amount of cigarette butts left on the sand. Mayor Sam Cooper said at that point it becomes an environmental issue.