On May 19th I wrote about the possibility of Wildwood banning smoking on their boardwalk in a piece you can read here. Included was an online poll, which shows 56% saying leave the smokers alone. Wednesday night the City Commission most definitely decided to not leave smokers alone. They passed an ordinance beginning January 1, 2018 that will mean heavy fines for anyone caught smoking anywhere on the boardwalk in Wildwood, even the ramps and stairs. North Wildwood votes on a similar measure next month.

Wildwood becomes the second boardwalk to ban smoking. Ocean City did it a few years ago. As I've said before, I'm all in favor of a ban on beach smoking because the beach is a place where you camp out all day. When a smoker sets up camp near your kids, you either suffer through it or go through a lot of hassle to move a lot of stuff. But the boardwalk? You tend to be on the move on the boardwalk. Just passing by a smoker is now too much? If that's the case, what's to keep towns from banning smoking on actual streets? Couldn't this lead to the only smoking allowed being in your home or in your car?

What I find most obnoxious about what Wildwood is doing is while the law doesn't start until January 1st, officials say they'll be asking people to put out their cigarettes this summer. Really? You're going to send your police officers up to people who aren't yet breaking any law and ask them to stop what they're doing? "Hey, it's not illegal yet, I can't do anything yet, but can you just do us this small favor and put out the cigarette anyway?"

I'm not even a smoker and this offends me to no end. Throw up your little signs and make your little public address announcements about how the law is coming in the new year, fine. But to harass smokers who aren't yet doing anything illegal just shows you that smokers are the one group no one cares about offending.

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