Smoking Is Banned on Cape Cod National Seashore Beaches

The ban affects six guarded beaches and starts June 19.

cape cod beach

Cape Cod beach image via shutterstock

There’s nothing worse than being downwind from a smoker, whether it’s on the sidewalk, at an adjacent al fresco table, or on the next towel on the beach. Fortunately, Cape Cod’s National Seashore will no longer be a place where you’ll be inhaling secondhand smoke.

Superintendent George Price announced that smoking will be prohibited beginning June 19 at all six guarded beaches at the National Seashore. “We received a number of complaints from visitors over the last couple of years that people on the next blanket are smoking and it was bothering them,” Price says. “We reviewed these complaints with our staff and advisors and everyone agreed that it would be a responsible way to proceed so that people can enjoy their beach time.” If you choose to smoke, Price adds, you can still do so outside of the guarded areas. But seriously, why are you still smoking, anyway?

The beaches where the ban will be in effect are: Coast Guard Beach in Eastham; Nauset Light Beach in Eastham; Marconi Beach in Wellfleet; Head of the Meadow Beach in Truro; Race Point Beach in Provincetown; and Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown.

This isn’t the first smoking ban on the Cape. “I’m surprised at the attention because there are already at least six towns on Cape Cod that prohibit smoking on their beaches already, and have for a number of years,” Price says. “We aren’t even the first national park that has prohibited smoking, we are just coming along here.”

Price points out that one of the towns that has already banned smoking on its beaches, Eastham, has seen its beach litter decline dramatically. In Barnstable, another town that has already banned smoking, Price says that there isn’t even a designated smoking area. “Their motivation was to reduce litter,” Price says. “Our primary reason was visitor enjoyment, but reducing litter is a great plus, too.”


    First of all cut the crap. There’s not one smoker that I know of that litters the beach with their butts.It’s easy to go after us I guess…Last I checked my taxes pay for said beaches so I should get a discount. Why not ban all the fat people in bathing suits- seeing that makes me throw up and ruins my day at the beach…Just wait till they smoke pot on the beach…Why don’t we solve some real world problems instead?

    • Daphne Wilkins

      Your cigarette is talking for you ! I totally agree about the smoking – there’s really no argument. And if you can’t stand looking at fat people then don’t look !

  • Rob Halpin

    “Not one smoker that I know of that litters the beach with their butts.”

    I see cigarette butts on every beach I frequent in New England–every time I’m on the beach. Are you also going to claim that smokers don’t throw their butts out their car windows onto the street?

    “Why not ban fat people in bathing suits?”

    Fat people in bathing suits (stay classy, BTW) are not harmful to others’ health, unlike smokers. Your smoking on the beach is harmful to my health when I’m forced to breathe your second-hand smoke. And that’s wrong because it means others cannot enjoy the natural beauty (and fresh air) at the beach without inhaling nasty, disease-causing cigarette smoke. You’re free to do whatever you want, until it impacts others’ health.