If you’ve been on the beach in Ocean City Maryland you will notice something new; bright orange ‘smoking receptacles’ that line the beach at every street. The orange smoking receptacles are part of Ocean City’s new regulations on smoking.
In March the Mayor and Ocean City Council voted 5-0 on an amendment which now makes smoking and vaping illegal in public parks in Ocean City. In addition to public parks smoking and vaping are now illegal on Atlantic Avenue. The ordinance- officially titled “Entitled Environment”- defines Atlantic Avenue as the beach and all of the ramps and wooden railings, the Boardwalk (which includes the concrete tram lane), and any ramps or decks extending from the Boardwalk, the sea wall, and any tables and benches. The inlet parking lot is one exception from the ban. Smoking or vaping in any bus shelter, or within 15 feet of one is also illegal. Violators can be charged with a fine of up to $500.
According to “The Dispatch” the Mayor and City Council are aiming to “protect the public from involuntary exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and vapor” The town has received a grant from The Maryland Cancer Fund to pay for the receptacles, signage and educational materials with the remainder being paid for by The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.