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Smoking bans increase on Rehoboth, Bethany beaches

Friday - 5/23/2014, 8:09pm  ET

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One of the more than 170 new signs posted in Rehoboth Beach this year describes the city's new, expanded smoking restrictions. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)
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WASHINGTON -- A beach that's popular with families just expanded its smoking ban, and a beach nearby has tweaked its rules as well.

In the City of Rehoboth Beach, an existing ban on smoking tobacco products in parks has now been expanded to include the boardwalk, the bandstand area, and much of the beach.

"We do have designated areas where people are allowed to light up on the farthest reaches from the water," says City Commissioner Stan Mills.

Signs and ashtrays make these spots highly visible, Mills says.

The city has put up more than 170 new signs to make everyone aware of the new rules.

"The idea there of course is that as people are walking around and approaching areas, they're given a little reminder that the area they're approaching is smoke- free."

If you violate the new smoking rules, you can be given a $25 citation, but Mills doesn't expect such fines to be handed out.

"The likelihood I expect, based on talking with other municipalities, I think is minimal or next to none."

He thinks most people, if approached and made aware of the new rules, will comply with them.

The nearby town of Bethany Beach also just expanded its smoking ban.

Bethany, which already banned smoking on its beach and boardwalk, has now widened its ban to include e-cigarettes.

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