Bethany Considers E-Cigarette Ban on Beach, Boardwalk, Parks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Bethany Considers E-Cigarette Ban on Beach, Boardwalk, Parks

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BETHANY BEACH, Del. - The town of Bethany Beach has added electronic cigarettes to the list of items they want to ban on the beach, boardwalk, and public parks. Smoking tobacco products has already been banned in these locations since 2008. The ban would be a first for Sussex County coastal beaches, and has created some debate among locals and visitors in the area. 

Vice Mayor Jack Gordon was one of the advocates for the ordinance. 

"We're a family beach," he said. "And we like to keep things family oriented down here." 

He said the use of e-cigarettes would create an enforcement issue, amongst other problems. 

"Part of the problem is with enforcement," he said. "You don't know whether someone is smoking an E-Cigarette unless you check it out." 

He said there was also concern with people using the E-Cigarettes to conceal drugs like marijuana. On the beach though, there was considerable debate over the new ordinance. Danny Green, a visitor to the beach, said he has seen the E-Cigarettes help people quit smoking, and so he thought they were valuable. 

"I think the whole purpose of banning cigarettes is for a safety issue and to avoid people from inhaling second hand smoke," he said. "And you don't really have that issue with E-cigarettes, so I see no need to ban it personally." 

But for others, it's less about smokers trying to quit, and more about impressionable kids getting addicted to nicotine.

"Nicotine is nicotine," sid Alan Goetzel. "I mean - if cigarettes were addictive then why wouldn't these e-cigarettes be addictive?" 

This follows a decision Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the billion dollar e-cigarette industry for the first time. The FDA wants to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy E-Cigarettes. It also wants to remove them from vending machines in public places. Lastly, the changes would mandate manufacturers to be required to register their products, and to report their ingredients.       
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