Ocean City Town Council votes to restrict smoking on the beach, boardwalk in Maryland

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJLA) – Officials in Ocean City have voted to draft a new law that would restrict smoking to designated area{ }on the beach and along the boardwalk.

The decision was approved with a 4-3 vote during a Town Council meeting on Tuesday.

The restrictions are needed to help reduce litter on the beach and curb the health concerns related to smoking, according to the work session minutes. A presentation that is included with the minutes said e-cigarettes would not be included in the new law.

The designated areas would be located no closer than 50 feet to the beach. New signs indicating where the smoking areas are located would be installed. There would also be clearly marked receptacles for smokers to use year-round.

A public survey mentioned in the presentation found that out of 37 responses, 30 people said they favored a smoking ban or restrictions while seven people who said they would not. Around 60 percent of local hotels and motels also said they favored a smoking ban or restrictions.

Officials estimate it will cost between $17,000 to $20,000 to build the designated smoking areas.

A draft of the legislation for the proposed restrictions will be presented in September. If approved, the regulation would go into effect May 1, 2015.