Ocean City Bans Smoking on Boardwalk

first_imgA sign at 14th Street marks one of the small designated smoking areas on the Ocean City Boardwalk. City Council on Thursday passed an ordinance that bans smoking across the entire boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ.City Council voted Thursday to ban the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes on the Ocean City Boardwalk.An existing ordinance had restricted tobacco use to seven small smoking areas spread out across the 2.5-mile length of the boardwalk.While the council passed the second and final reading of the new ordinance in a 7-0 vote, council and administration members acknowledged that the measure likely will just push smokers off the boardwalk to street ends.Speaking for the Boardwalk Merchants Association, Hank Glaser of Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy and Fudge urged council to come up with a plan to accommodate both smokers and non-smokers.“We want to cooperate,” Glaser said of the merchants.Business Administrator Mike Dattilo said common sense would dictate that smokers would gather near the boardwalk entrances, and he said the city would try a couple different approaches to signage, lighting and smoking receptacles to see what works. The ordinance will take effect in 20 days.“It’s not an easy situation for merchants or our guests,” Mayor Jay Gillian said. “We’re all going to work together.”The new ordinance bans smoking along the entire boardwalk, including ramps and stairs.First offenses are punishable with fines of $100 to $250. Fines for subsequent offenses would be $500 to $1,000.The measure passed on first reading on June 12 with full support from council members and no comment from the public.Dattilo had said Ocean City police issue 1,700 to 1,800 warnings a year under the current ordinance but issue few summonses. He said police would continue a policy of warnings for all but flagrant offenders.A bill currently being considered by the state Legislature would ban smoking on beaches but allow individual municipalities to designate up to 15 percent of their beaches as smoking areas.__________Sign up for OCNJ Daily’s free newsletter and breaking news alerts“Like” us on Facebooklast_img read more