Ocean City to Discuss Beach Smoking Ban - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean City to Discuss Beach Smoking Ban

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- Ocean City councilman Brent Ashley believes it's gross; it's everywhere; and if he has his way, smoking on the beach will soon be illegal.

"This is very disturbing to a lot of people," said Ashley. "I don't like it personally when I'm on the beach." He's not a lone. Ashley said complaints have poured in.

"We get complaints about the second hand smoke," said Ashley. "People who use the beach don't want their kids to be exposed to the second hand smoke."

So he wants the mayor and council to consider getting rid of smoking on beaches in the resort town.
Nathan Jester, of Ocean City, is on board with the idea, even though he says he's a smoker.

"I have a granddaughter and you know I don't want her around smoke, so I think it's a good idea for just the health reasons," said Jester.

But Richard Rinker said the town is going 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 Rinker.

Now the idea has to move beyond the proposal stage. The town has to figure out the cost of new signage, more cigarette disposal bins and how the police would enforce the new ban. If town officials choose to draft up new smoke-free legislation, you could face a fine if you light up on this beach.

Some town officials say business owners will oppose the idea because they think it will hurt their revenue. But Ashley believes the change will attract more tourists.

"We're going to gain far more people who would appreciate a smoke free environment that we will loose," said Ashley.

Most of Delmarva's coast is already smoke free: Delaware State beaches, Dewey, Rehoboth and Fenwick. Bethany Beach has a seasonal ban. Ocean City could be next.

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