Smoke-Free Public Spaces in Delaware

Fenwick Island Rack Card
Delaware’s Clean Air Act does not preempt local jurisdictions from developing their own policies. Local communities in all three counties have created policies that ban smoking from public spaces such as parks, playgrounds, and beaches.

Beaches in Sussex County

Bethany Beach was the first town in Delaware to prohibit smoking on public beaches and boardwalk areas, adopting a seasonal ban in April 2008. The legislation also included year-round smoking bans at town parks and children’s playgrounds open to the public.  In 2011, the seasonal ban was extended to a year-round ban. The towns of Fenwick Island and Dewey Beach have since followed with smoking bans on their beaches (as of 2013). Most recently, the Cities of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes have included e-cigarettes in their smoking bans on the beach and boardwalk

Parks in New Castle County

The City of New Castle enacted smoke-free parks and playgrounds in August 2011.  The no-smoking policy is part of a larger Community Wellness Initiativefor which the City is partnering with Delaware Greenways.

25-Foot Rule in Kent County

Smyrna adopted an ordinance that not only prohibits smoking in town-owned facilities, playgrounds, and recreational equipment at parks, but also bans smoking within 25 feet of entrances of those spaces, in July 2011.

Other municipalities in Delaware that have enacted outdoor smoke-free policies include:

In addition to addressing the dangers of secondhand smoke, these policies can reduce litter and pollution problems; prevent fires; protect children and animals from ingesting cigarette butts; and ensure better role modeling for youth.  Public support also tends to be quite high for smoke-free public places.