Orleans Mulls Beach Smoking Ban

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Nauset Beach in Orleans

Nauset Beach in Orleans

ORLEANS – The Orleans Board of Health would like the town to be the latest on the Cape to ban smoking at public beaches and parks.

Town officials discussed the possible ban recently and had mixed feelings on the issue.

Town Administrator John Kelly said he is for a ban, but is not sure how it would work logistically.

“I do support this but I don’t see how we can possibly have enforcement of a no smoking [regulation] at Nauset Beach in a busy summer on a Sunday afternoon when there’s thousands of people there,” Kelly said.

The regulation would allow for non-police personnel to issue non-criminal citations for $200.

Orleans Police Chief Scott McDonald does not believe a ban can be enforced without increased calls for police intervention.

“I can assure you at the end of the day there will be conflict and we will be called to respond to that conflict,” MacDonald said. “I’m not sure that this community is ready for that.”

MacDonald said a ban could only work if the residents and visitors were for it.

“An ordinance or regulation isn’t going to change an attitude. You have to change the attitudes first,” MacDonald said. “And my question for you – and I don’t know the answer to this – are we there?” Is this the popular opinion of our community or our visitors?”

A number of Cape towns have banned smoking on beaches including Dennis, Barnstable and Chatham. The Cape Cod National Seashore beaches also prohibit smoking.

Natural Resources Director Nate Sears believes action should be taken to eliminate smoking at town beaches.

“I would recommend…that it would be only during operating hours when we are charging at the beaches,” Sears said.

Sears said there should be a focus on making the beach going experience the best it can be for residents and visitors in Orleans.

A public hearing on a possible ban will be held later this spring.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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