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May 25, 2018

Jersey Shore town eyes ban on beach smoking, including e-cigarettes

Ocean City would join growing list of places making it illegal to light up on the sand

Ocean City, New Jersey, could soon ban smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, on its beaches.

On Thursday, city council passed the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit smoking on its beaches in an effort to protect residents and visitors from the "inherently dangerous behavior of smoking around non-tobacco users."

The ordinance states it wants to protect beachgoers, particularly children, from being exposed to second-hand smoke.

The ban would also include e-cigarettes and so-called "vapes." According to the Surgeon General, the aerosol released from these devices contains harmful chemicals that can still potentially be inhaled second-hand.

If approved, Ocean City would join several other Jersey Shore towns that have recently banned smoking on the beach

The New Jersey state legislature is currently considering a bill that would ban smoking on all beaches. Former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed similar legislation in 2016.

Smoking is already banned on Ocean City's boardwalks and parks. The proposed ordinance goes up for a second reading at a city council meeting scheduled for June 14, according to CBS3. If it passes again, it would go into effect in 20 days.