Ocean City will Restrict Smoking in 2015 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ocean City will Restrict Smoking in 2015

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 OCEAN CITY, Md.-The Ocean City town council met Tuesday afternoon and voted 4-3 to restrict smoking on the beach and boardwalk.

They will join many other Delmarva towns that have outdoor smoking bans including their neighbors Bethany, Dewey, the city of Dover, Fenwick Island, Lewes, Milton, the city of Rehoboth beach, and Smyrna. 

Councilman Brent Ashley said the smoke-free beach ship sailed a long time ago, and Ocean City was left waiting on the dock.

"This was first proposed in Ocean City 20 years ago. So we're just catching up and I think it's time we catch up with our neighbors, and do the healthy thing for our visitors and residents," Ashley said. 

Ocean City council secretary Mary Knight agreed. 

"I think it's time. We typically wait to see in other areas how things are implemented just so that we do it correctly, but I've gotten so many calls even unsolicited before this was even a discussion," Knight said. 

The council will now make their recommendations on where to restrict smoking. They then plan to begin a public awareness campaign which Ashley said could cost upwards of $20,000. 

Tourist Kelly Bender said although she used to smoke she likes the idea of a smoke free beach. She said she noticed a lot of cigarette butts on the beach and so did her daughter.

"We were shell searching and she kept finding butts and was like what's this and I was just like put that down it's been in someone's mouth, it's dirty. It does cause a lot of garbage out there," Bender said. 

While tourists such as Bender think smoking restrictions will enhance Ocean City, smoker Andrew Boyer thinks it will hurt the town. 

"It would kill some tourism here, because I know I can pretty much take a large guess that a lot of people smoke when they come here and if they have to walk back to street just to smoke a cigarette it's going to kill a lot of business," Boyer said.  

The restrictions will begin May 1, 2015 in Ocean City. 

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