Ocean City passes ordinance to ban smoking on beach

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (WPVI) -- If a certain shore point is on your itinerary this summer you'll want to take the cigarettes out of your beach bag.

Ocean City has passed an ordinance banning smoking on the beach.

The new rule goes into effect in 20 days. And that is just in time for the busy July 4th holiday.

Kareem Terry of North Philadelphia said, "I think it's a great thing for the atmosphere, for the environment.

"It's for the health of everyone on the beach," said a beachgoer.

"We want a good quality, family life," said Ocean City, Mayor Jay Gillian.

Gillian proposed the bill that was passed by city council Thursday night and will go into effect next month.

"It's what everyone, not everyone but the majority of people on OC wanted. They wanted to be able to go to the beach without second hand smoking."

The boardwalk and city parks have been smoke-free for several years. The beach remained one of the last public bastions for smokers in OC until now.

John Ford of Boothwyn said, "Some guy was smoking a cigar on the beach next to us."

The ban is welcome news for The Ford family from Boothwyn.

"It stinks. It's all around you," added Ford.

Rebecca Ford of Boothwyn said, "I'm glad there's a smoking ban because it's not right they can infect everyone else's lungs."

But not everyone is happy. These smokers feel Council went too far and want a section reserved for smokers.

"Like he said probably a designated smoking area because people smoke for all different reasons," said one beachgoer.

Governor Murphy is soon expected to sign a statewide partial smoking ban that would provide for smoking sections.

Mayor Gillian says Ocean City may consider a compromise like that in the future.

"We'll see how it goes this year. If it's needed, we'll look into it."

Ocean City police will be for responsible enforcing the ordinance. Violators could receive fines ranging from $100 to $1000.

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