Now's the time to limit smoking in Rehoboth

January 10, 2014

It seems like Rehoboth Beach needs to follow what the other Delaware beach towns have done in regards to smoking on the beach and boardwalk. Fenwick Island, Bethany, Delaware state beaches and most recently Dewey have enacted smoking bans on their beaches. Bethany has even included its boardwalk too.

Now, unless we do the same, we’ll become the “unofficial smoking beach.” I’ve noticed even more smoking this year since Dewey started the smoking ban last May. There’s plenty of reasons why it should be done. Secondhand smoke is both a health threat (ask anyone who has any type of breathing issues) and a general nuisance to those who find the odor annoying. Then there’s the issue of litter. Cigarette butts are like small toxic waste dumps that never decompose. They either wash out into the ocean or get left behind in the sand. Neither one’s a good solution. When left on the beach, it becomes a possible toy for small children to pick up.

And do we want our impressionable children exposed to the sight of adults smoking? Rehoboth has plenty of other places where people can smoke. So don’t complain about losing your rights. Smokers only make up less than 20 percent of the population, and yet, what they’re doing affects the other 80 percent. Remember, smoking is optional, but breathing isn’t.

I recently started a petition that was handed in to the city’s mayor and commissioners at Monday’s board meeting. It contained close to 300 signees. Even more responded to me via email, most of them expressing thanks for doing this, and including the reason they felt it should be passed. I asked Commissioner Stan Mills to introduce the measure on the ban to the board for their consideration, which he did. If you feel as strongly as I do about this, please contact the board and let them know.

Steve Curson
Rehoboth Beach

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