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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — For the second time in two years, Wrightville Beach denied a smoking ban.

“Wrightsville Beach took two steps backwards in terms of democracy goes,” said Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti. “When you receive emails from over 200 residents, have over 400 residents with the zip code supporting it, it was overwhelmingly for.”

In spite of numerous emails, signed petitions, samples from the beach, and a packed house Thursday night, the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen rejected a smoking ban at the ordinance. Cignotti says the board did not listen to the people of the town when making its decision.

“I think when you’re elected to office, that you put your personal opinions aside and you listen to your constituents,” said Cignotti. “This was overwhelmingly for, so I’m disappointed.”

Supporters of the smoking ban say denying the ban is a missed opportunity for the community.

“It’s a sad night for Wrightsville Beach,” said smoking ban supporter Tim Taylor. “We could have been one of the predominant beaches in North Carolina. We would have been the first beach to be smoke free but right now we’re just like every other beach.”

Opponents say the way the laws were written would put too much stress on an already stretched police department. Some also argued that a less confusing ordinance needed to be considered.

“The way the ordinance is written, it is only enforceable above the high tide line,” said opponent Colin Eagles. “At low tide, over half of the beach, the ordinance would not apply. That is absurd.”

Those working to keep the beach clean say they will not stop their efforts even though the ban was not put into place. They say the will continue to speak up for what they believe in until their voices are heard and respected, which they say may have to wait until election season.

Comment on this Story

  • WBS OLE Skool

    I’m a native of WB and enjoy a cig on occasion but carry my butts with me when I walk back up to my house. It sickens me too when every two feet I count and pick up butt after butt and ride the hell out of anyone I see dropping or poking a butt in the sand. Tim went about the whole cig ban campaign too extreme and in turn cut its nose off despite its face. Tim next time you might try goinbout it in a manner that will appease both sides. You’re a recent transplant in the community and like many others that’ve moved here with their big money and Yankee minded selfish ideals , lemme tell ya dude it’s not all about you bro ! I can only begin to think you guys would’ve came out with a win win on both sides if you Tim had gone about it and asked for “Smoking Zones ” . Just as we have ones for surfing. Not only would we be able to enjoy second hand smoke free days on the beach but it would also better enable us to zero in on the zones where the butts are predominantly left behind.

  • Someone Who Knows the Facts

    I emailed all 3 dissenters…Mr.(Attorney) Darryl Mills argued “liberty and personal choice” as his reason for the vote against it. A stock answer for a lawyer. Ms. King and Ms.Collins have not had the courtesy to reply.
    Bottom line….CLUELESS!!!! IGNORANT!!!!!! OLD!!!!!!
    Time for them to think about letting educated, innovative, public conscious people serve the community!

  • Guest757

    I do agree with you on smoking at the hospital, but come on it’s a big beach if the smoke is blowing your way take 2 steps to the left… LOL

  • J Dugo

    The politicians and residents of Wrightsville Beach do not own the beach and certainly do not own the air! How can those poor people who have such a problem with second hand smoke on the beach possibly tolerate going outdoors or driving to the beach with the thousands of cars polluting their air? Re: the woman who picked up “45,000” butts on the beach – did she really count them and was her count verified?

  • getaclue

    Really! Smoking causes ignorance. Look at all the people standing in front of the NO Smoking signs at the hospital. Also, what better way to enjoy an ocean breeze than to be downwind of a smoker.

  • dittos

    Get rid of the “IT’S MY RIGHT TO SMOKE WHERE I WANT, WHEN I WANT” argument. Talk about self-justifing sense of ones self. That IS truly the way it is.


    why are you LETTING kids eat cigarette butts WATCH YOUR KIDS. Kids and their noise bother me at the beach maybe I should try to get a ban on them. The plastic pieces are from soda can plastic usually, not cigarettes. I feel people like you are a danger to mankind more than any cigarette butt, sorry got to cut it short need to light up….

  • Guest461

    I walk the beach almost every day. Butts are only a small part of the problem. If you’re going to ban butts, you have to ban soft drinks, baby diapers, kids plastic toys, food wrappers, cups, forks, busted coolers, beach chairs, umbrellas, napkins, baggies, surfboards and the remainder of an endless list of trash I see.

    I understand the litter problem and do not condone it, but I also realize litter extends well beyond smokers butts. If you want to control litter, control it all, not just a select portion. This law wasn’t about controlling litter as much as it was about controlling people. This was likely invoked by the same genre of the “Stop Titan” and “No Port Southport” crowd.

    I’m a former smoker, smokefree for over 7 years now. The best thing I ever did for myself, but the last thing I want to do is be an anti-smoking nazi. I don’t think Wrightsville Beach wants to be on the recordbook for that either, they already have enough image problems.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    “Wrightsville Beach Town Aldermen Ignore Overreaching Nazis”

    BTW, back when I smoked, I smoked Luckies. No filter, totally biodegradable.

  • Guest7969

    WRONG..according to the Libtards…the fact that we even BREATHE…makes us contributing to pollution…

  • SouthEastNC

    I agree with you about cigarette butts. Why is it that most smokers don’t think of butts as litter? All the smokers I know have no problem flicking a butt out their window while driving, but would never think of tossing out an empty cigarette pack – they’d see that as litter, but don’t see butts the same way. I do realize there are some people who save their butts to properly dispose of them… kudos to those folks.

    Cooking out the other evening, a buddy of mine who smokes was giving another friend there a hard time for not recycling.
    Non-Recycler – “That’s funny, cause you’re one of the biggest litterers I know.”
    Smoker – “What? I never litter.”
    Non-Recycler – “How many cigarette butts do you flick out your car window every day? You think they just disappear?”
    Smoker – “Man… I guess you’re right.”

    At the same time, I don’t like the government encroaching more and more on legal things people choose to do. This isn’t a smoking problem, it is a littering problem. I don’t know what the solution is… really, need to get more people who smoke to realize that flicking out a cigarette butt is just as bad as littering a styrofoam cup.

  • Guest461

    Just like the bored woman picking up nasty butts, go find a real hobby! There are many more things than butts that need picking up off the beach..every day! Geeeez…

  • irish1

    Just enforce the littering laws … period … why would any American support yet another law that would take away another American’s rights? Oh … I know … to protect them from themselves … lot of that going around lately. And I really don’t want to hear from the so-called “second hand smoke” hypocrites … they are almost as bad as the “Stop Titian” hipocrites .. because if you don’t … 1) Walk everywhere you go … 2) Ride a horse everywhere you go … or … 3) ride a bike … you are contributing to pollution just like everybody else … sorry that this doesn’t fit into your self-justifying sense of yourself … but that’s just the way it really is.

  • Guest Lee

    Cigarettes are the #1 most littered item in America and the world. Their filters are made of cellulose acetate tow, not cotton, and they can take decades to degrade. Toxic residue in cigarette filters is known to be damaging to the environment.

    Cigarette butts aren’t just ugly; they also threaten wildlife. Plastic pieces have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales and other marine creatures that mistake them for food.

    When eaten, the toxins in cigarette butts also can also make small children sick. The most common symptoms are vomiting, nausea, lethargy, gagging, and a pale or flushed appearance.

    I agree; it’s a sad day for Wrightsville Beach.

  • X

    Horses cause global warming and, don’t forget, you are enslaving the animals.

  • Guest3/9

    Great job WBBA. Those two people picking up Butts on the beach do not even live there! Yes, I agree there should be stronger enforcements on “littering” but dont take someone’s freedom away, the government is already doing enough of that in our back yards as it is.

  • Das Weibstück

    WB residents really do not want the general public on THEIR beach and they are trying to make it as miserable as possible to visit. Close it, make it private and pay for your own beach re-nourishment. Poor butt lady will have to find a real job but O’well.

  • 4u

    Health is not a concern for them, so get rid of the filters. That’s where the litter is coming from. The paper and tobacco left will break down quickly when there is no filter. Beaches, street corners, parks, everywhere will be cleaner and smokers can still smoke. If you are one of the few “health nut” smokers out there, then you can buy a reusable filter.

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