As was largely expected, the Ocean City, N.J. City Council unanimously approved a smoking ban on the city’s boardwalk at its meeting on Thursday night, eliminating seven designated smoking areas, creating fines for those in violation of the ban, and extending the boundaries to include ramps and steps that lead to the popular area. The ordinance is expected to take effect in mid-July.
While the ordinance makes violations punishable by fines ranging from $100 to $1000 for repeat violations, Mayor Jay Gillian has indicated that enforcement will be as lenient as possible, with friendly requests to stop smoking and warnings being the primary method of bringing people into compliance.
The city must now address how the shift of smokers off the boardwalk will affect the surrounding area, and has already announced plans to enhance lighting in the surrounding areas as well as deal with possible litter and other ramifications from the ban.
Ocean City has approximately 11,500 residents and is located in Cape May County, 11 miles south of Atlantic City.