Lifeguards Ask Folks to Butt Out

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Lighting up is now against the rules on the beach but is it costing offenders?

Dewey Beach is starting to enforce a new beach smoking ban, but town lifeguards are taking a soft approach.

The Dewey Beach Patrol says everyone being warned that smoking is prohibited is putting out their cigarettes without an issue. The lifeguards are letting violators off the hook with a warning, instructing them to smoke on the street rather than on the beach.

"We give out the soft warning and as long as they are compliant, we let them go about their business," Rob Mason of the Dewey Beach Patrol told WBOC-TV. "We let them smoke out in the street."

When the lifeguards start handing out tickets for a smoking violation, each will carry a $50 fine. The fine doubles if someone throws a cigarette butt onto a beach dune.

Dewey Town Manager Marc Appelbaum told the station that smoking ban signs have been ordered and should arrive within the next week.

The ordinance, which was approved on May 11, cites keeping kids away from second-hand smoke and decreasing litter as reasons for the ban at Dewey beaches and parks.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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