Wrightsville Beach group one step closer to butt-free beach

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Submitted: Fri, 04/13/2012 - 3:06am
Updated: Fri, 04/13/2012 - 3:51pm

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The debate on whether to ban smoking continued tonight at the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen meeting. Supporters of the ban got one step closer to reaching their dream of a butt free beach.

The board originally voted three to two against a smoking ban, but supporters have put up a fight and if all goes to plan they just might get their wish.

A group supporting the smoking ban presented the board with a stack of signed petitions. Only 211 signatures were needed for the petition to be successful, but the group gathered more than 240.

“We basically did two days of actual canvassing of Wrightsville Beach by person,” said Sean Ahlum, a member of the Surfrider Foundation, the group pushing for the ban. “It was amazing, people were very willing to come out and sign it.”

Bonnie Monteleone was at the meeting and is a researcher at UNCW who travels the worlds oceans studying the accumulation of plastic. Plastic, she says, is not the issue at Wrightsville Beach.

“The problem is they’re finding cigarette butts and that’s the number one item they’re finding in these samples on these beaches, so if we can eliminate the cigarette butts, we’re going to have one of the cleanest beaches on the east coast,” Monteleone said.

The next step to get the ban in place is to have the petition certified by both the New Hanover County Board of Elections and the town clerk.

“I’m sure they all had valid reasons for why they want to do it and why they voted their way, I just think in my personal opinion that they voted the wrong way this time,” Ahlum said.

According to town attorney John Wessell, there is no set amount of time to verify the petition, but if put to a public vote, he says it would most likely go on the November ballot.


  • cintrek says:

    Quit whining about the proposed smoke ban on the beach. If the smokers would take their butts with them instead of leaving it behind like we’re their mamas to clean up after nasty then WB probably wouldn’t be so worried about it. Your littering & contributing to the pollution. Grow up & pick up after yourself so you won’t have folks up your butt.

  • Guesttoo says:

    This would be a non-issue were it not for the simple fact that many (most?) smokers treat the world as their ashtray. Littering is illegal but when a group of lazy, inconsiderate slobs see it as their “right” to trash the beach, people that don’t agree with that will react.

    Don’t look at the people that want a cleaner beach as the enemy, look at your fellow smokers, the pathetic ones that can’t be bothered to pick up after themselves. They’re the ones driving this push.

  • LOCAL 51 says:

    Well I will say it again and again.Why not cut off ALL taxpayer money from the county.Put a gate on top of the bridge and only allow those that think they own Wrightsville Beach to pay for everything and see how long it takes before they come back crying for some county tax dollars so they can survive.Man I sure wish the beach was back like it was years ago.Would I40 north to 95 north help this situation???I believe so.

  • linda jones says:

    since we want to ban smoking on the beach why dont we ban dog owners who do not clean up behind them.while we are at it why dont we ban all people who have coolers because of the trash they leave behind.why dont we just ban everyone who does not live at the beach.or maybe we should display more trash cans and butt catchers.why choose one set of people over the other?trash is trash

  • Guest1812 says:

    thank you. my view is that politicians are to lazy to get out from behind their desk to do something about the problems we have. They would just rather sit behind there desk and make some stupid ban/law!

  • Guest123 says:

    Smoking can contribute…but it is not always what causes cancer. I knew a 93yr old woman that smoked like a chimney and died of old age..not cancer…. stop generalizing people.

    PLUS.. it is OUTSIDE!!!! Are you going tell these people next that they can’t smoke in the car??? Long as the butts are put in container instead of side of road who cares?

    All this is doing is the gov’t taking one freedom after another. What next no picnics on the beach?? How much trash is found on the beaches? LOTS!

    Its BS anyway you look at it. I am not a smoker what people do outside never bothers me! Let them smoke on the beach..just fine them for liter! I think it’s ridiculous that they stopped it in bars! It should have been left up to the owners! Not the gov’t ..

    Stop the gov’t NOW! Before they tell you what to do in your own dang house!

  • Carolina Beach says:

    So does this mean all the nasty cancer kings/queens are going to start going to CB, KB, and FF to flick their butts and pollute the air with their disgusting habit? There are already enough of them currently so adding all the filty people currently at WB could make the other beaches just about unbearable.

    BTW, I work in Cancer research and review medical records on a daily basis. I know what is in store for all you smokers in the most intimate detail. Quit now or have your body rot from the inside out and die a horrible agonising death.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    So smokers are “nasty” and “filthy” people? I hope you do not deal with the public because you are one judgmental a$$hole. Let me guess…. you are a perfect weight, do not drink alcohol, do not eat red meat, do not take any drugs legal or not and have perfect genetics? Bwahahahaaaaaaa Yeah I thought so.

  • Guest211 says:


  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    I don’t even smoke but I think that these people are nothing but bullies trying to impose their will on the minority.

    If it passes, here’s hoping that all smokers bypass Wrightsville Beach and you lose millions in Summer revenue.

    You’ll deserve it.

  • GuestMan says:

    So you think the minority should impose their will on the majority?

  • Guest343 says:

    Regardless of how the vote turns out, I love seeing the power go back to the people. I think more decisions should be put on the ballot.

  • Guest 343 says:

    Well, if this passes I guess all the smokers will be forced to smoke below the high tide line or at least stand in ankle deep water.

  • guesty says:

    Smoke on the strand, at the high tide line if you please. Just don’t throw your trash on the ground. The main issue isn’t about where you smoke, it is about what you do with your trash.

  • Brian says:

    Actually, this is not ‘power to the people’, it is a special interest group putting pressure on politicians to enact legislation that limits individual freedoms. I don’t smoke, but I don’t support a ban on smoking on the beach either. What I do suggest is stiff penalties for those that choose to litter the beach – with cigarette butts or other trash. $1000 per offense, plus 4 weekends of community service spent cleaning trash from the beachfront sounds like a reasonable deterrent.

  • Guest7969 says:

    I am NOT a smoker..but what is going to happen here is that when it passes…ALL SMOKERS are going to have a DAY OF SMOKING and stand in ankle deep water smoking a cigarette in one hand and flipping the bird with the other…because THAT will still be legal…this is a DO NOTHING law…just what we need…

  • jj says:

    There has been a ban on alcohol there for years. They don’t enforce that and now they want to enforce a smoking ban. I wonder if as the other posted, being below the main high tide line, can they do anything?

  • Beach Bum says:


    Ban walking on the beach. It disturbs the sand and the sands ecological system. Ban walking dogs on the beach. Ban walking dogs anywhere on Wrighstville Beach. Canines spread rabbies. Ban driving vehicles onto Wrightsville Beach. The carbon monoxide posions all. Ban surfing at Wrightsville Beach and all beaches in New Hanover County. Surfing is a dangerous sport and clearly, the surfers, need our concerned assistance in protecting them from themselves. Ban boats and fishing at Wrightsville Beach. Again, the boat fuel is poison to all the fish and ecological systems in the water and fish are need to facilitate the ecological systems, so again, ban boats and fishing.

    Smoking is a personal choice just as drinking just as expressing your opinion.

    But your rights end where mine begin. I have not forced my opinion or views like the Richardets have. Bloody wankers.


    Your beach, your problem Richardets.

  • Guest2020 says:

    As another non-smoker, I agree with you. The bars are the ones that really got me. I can see people not wanting smoking in hospitals for health reasons and for restaurants and grocery stores, because there are children present. It’s just not the government’s right to interfere with private business practices. But the bars was way over the top. Bars have absolutely no necessity of life. If you don’t like smoke then just don’t go to bars. By the time the government gets finished with us they will tell us what kind of toilet paper we use to wipe our behinds. It’s riciculous.

  • guesty says:

    So many smokers are lazy and just throw their butts on the ground. If they would start acting responsible there might not be such a push to regulate them.

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