Ocean City, Maryland - council rejects outdoor smoking ban, seeks designated areas..

December 24, 2010 - OCEAN CITY, Md. - Ocean City’s neighboring resort town, Bethany Beach, Del. is a prime example of the proposed ban. Bethany Beach passed a smoking ban on its beaches and Boardwalk in 2008. The ban lasts from May 15 to Sept. 15 every year. During that time frame, smokers are provided with designated smoking areas on Bethany’s beaches. Last summer Bethany Beach Mayor Tony McClenny had said that the smoking ban enforced during the busy season has proven to be popular, and the town has experienced little resistance and few complaints as well as enforcement actions. In April 2008, town officials banned smoking year-round at town parks, playgrounds and the bandstand area of the boardwalk. They also prohibited smoking on most of the boardwalk and the beach between May 15 and Sept. 15. (Council Rejects Outdoor Smoking Ban, Seeks Designated Areas, written By: Joanne Shriner, Staff Writer, mdcoastdispatch.com, 12/24/2010; Bethany Considers Extending Beach Smoking Ban, WBOC.com, 11/18/2010))

On Monday night, December 20th the Ocean City, MD city council decided to reject a proposed smoking ban. Instead, they unanimously approved a new motion to restrict smoking at public parks, following the rules that already existed there. The motion also included an initiative to create plans for voluntary smoking areas at the boardwalk and beach, rather than a complete ban. The vote came after a public hearing, in which residents of Ocean City and visitors from all over Maryland and Delaware voiced their opinions. Councillors of Ocean City, Delmarva, Maryland, on Wednesday, December 23rd voted unanimously not to ban smoking through instead to create voluntary smoking areas on the beach and Boardwalk.

After hearing from supporters and opponents of a proposed smoking ban, the council agreed with Councilman Joe Hall's suggestion to set up voluntary smoking areas on the beach and Boardwalk, and more forcefully ban smoking in the resort's parks. According to town staff, there already is a rule against smoking in parks but it had not yet been addressed by ordinance. Hall said he thought placing cans on the beach, labeled with a request that people smoke near them, would work.

Reference: OC council declines beach smoking ban
Voluntary smoking areas along Ocean City coastline, Boardwalk agreed upon
by Charlene Sharpe Staff Writer, delmarvanow.com, 12/22/2010.