This ban forbids smoking year round except for in designated smoking areas.
According to City Commissioner Stan Mills, who spearheaded the ban, voluntary compliance is expected with minimal enforcement.
“Starting as soon as the signs went up we got voluntary compliance even before the ban went into effect,” he said. “But also concurrent with that we’ve gotten a lot of thank yous for implementing this for those that choose to not want to breath the smoke.”
The city installed 172 signs around the beach and boardwalk area alerting people where they can and cannot smoke.
Steve Curson got the ball rolling on the ban when he sent out petitions requesting other Rehoboth Beach locals to get on board. Several other Delaware beach towns have bans, and Rehoboth Beach already banned smoking in parks in 2011. Curson said he is appreciative of the city commission for getting the ordinance passed so quickly.
“It feels great, it shows what one person can do if you have the right idea and the support behind it,” he said. “Everybody in the community supported it and everybody followed through and it’s gonna be a great summer.”
The ban started just over a week before Memorial Day to give locals and enforcement officers a chance to prepare and test out the signs. Mills said he hopes it will be a smooth transition once the busy summer season begins.
“While we were debating this the smokers came forward and pretty much they all said yeah we see it coming and if you’re gonna do it at least tell us where we can smoke and we’ve tried to achieve that balance,” he explained.
Currently, Bethany Beach has a year round ban on the beach and a seasonal ban on the boardwalk. Dewey Beach and Fenwick Island also have year round bans.