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Ocean City Will Create Voluntary Smoking Areas

14th February 2011
By tylerrimes in Trusts
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Council members voted without a single dissenting vote not to prohibit smoking on the resort, requiring creating voluntary smoking areas on each beach.

The council agreed with Councilman Joe Hall’s proposal to create smoking areas on the beach and also prohibit tougher smoking in the resort’s parks, after hearing from opponents about a planned smoking ban. According to town officials, there is already a regulation which plans to prohibit smoking in parks, but it had not yet been adopted.

“I think that if we place some cans on the beach and ask people to smoke near them, it can work. I am sure that when they will have such an option, they will choose it in order not to offend and expose non-smokers to secondhand smoke,” Hall stated.

“Despite the fact that I supported this ordinance, I prefer a non-intrusive government. It will be very pleasant if we won’t become zealots in this matter,” Council member Mary Knight stated.

The decision to create smoking areas came after complete agreement from various people as from Ocean City residents so from its visitors.

Mike Rippen, who represents tobacco wholesalers and works with businesses in Ocean City, stated that introduction of a smoking ban would make people refuse going to the resort.

A resident of Georgetown said that he got tired of government, which is treating its citizens like children when they might be trusted to be amenable on their own. “I am non-smoker, but first of all I am an adult. There were a lot of harmful things for people to do in the resort town, whether smoking was permitted or not. I think that it is unhealthy to eat a funnel cake, which can be also bought on the boardwalk” he said.

A resident of Ocean City, Charles declared that he wanted very much a ban on smoking in his town, because regular exposure to secondhand smoke worsened existing health conditions, as asthma, for many citizens.

“It bothers me when someone is smoking next to me. It is not a normal situation for family resort we have here,” he said. An opponent of a smoking ban, Nicolas Webber underlined that smoking wasn’t illegal. “I am a smoker and I feel like the most awful lawbreaker, I do not like being treated in such a way as a secondary citizen. I am sure that after introduction of this smoking ban, all smokers would be excluded from the beach,” he said.

According to a resident of Ocean City, in Maryland 85% of residents are non- smokers.

“The boardwalk looks like a big ashtray and children are playing with cigarette butts. It is really alerting,” Nicolas concluded.
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