Smoking Will Be Limited But Not Banned

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Some could argue it’s a matter of semantics, but it’s important for supporters and detractors of the current smoking regulation process in Ocean City to remember an outright ban is not happening.

Ocean City appears to be honing in on its chosen direction with an ordinance to return next month that essentially creates a number of designated smoking sites along the beach. The latest issue was whether to create select additional sites along the actual Boardwalk for smoking or to just utilize the existing stations on the beach that had been essentially supported as a means to allow beach-goers a place to light up away from others. The council essentially decided this week to utilize the designated beach stations and we think that was the correct decision.

It should be clear that it’s not a smoking ban that Ocean City is closing in on. In fact, it’s rare for municipalities to ban it in the open air. Instead they offer designated sites, which keep smoke away from the general populace. That’s what has happened in Delaware resorts and across the country and it’s what is happening in Ocean City.

The City Council was right this week to push the Boardwalk smokers to the beach where designated sites will already be in place for the beach. In some areas, it’s about 20 feet from the boards and 50 feet in most cases. Creating other locations along the wooden promenade were problematic for the businesses paying top dollar to operate on it as well as visitors trying to access the beach at the street-ends, which was where the city initially pitched smoking stations.

It’s not a ban, but it’s as close as it gets. Nonetheless, the difference is noteworthy and the extremists who allege their days of vacationing in Ocean City are over as a result of this new direction need to remember that.

More than likely, smokers walking the Boardwalk will feel like it’s a ban when they have to hit the beach to light up, but at least they are convenient options.

 

 

 

 

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