Maryland's Tobacco Resource Center - Linking Professionals to Best Practices

Smoking Restrictions Coming to Ocean City, Maryland

October
2014

The town council for Ocean City, Maryland proposed legislation at the end of August 2014 to regulate smoking on the beach and boardwalk.  By including designated areas that will allow smoking, the beach and boardwalk will not be completely smoke-free. The regulations are specific to tobacco products, not to increasingly popular e-cigarettes. The push for the law comes from the desire to make the beach more appealing to tourists while also addressing the negative ramifications of second hand smoke.  Planned implementation is set for May 1, 2015 and support is gaining from the local and tourist populations as well as some lawmakers.  The legislation will require $17,000 to $20,000 to set up metal receptacles at beach entry points, where smoking is restricted to a 50-foot radius around these large metal cans.  Violations of the new restrictions include a fine ranging from $25 to $1,000. While there is strong support for this legislation, there are also those that believe the law does not go far enough and may be a lost cause when it comes to improving attraction to the beach itself.