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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Another area beach town is considering snuffing smoking on the sand. The Town of Carolina Beach wants public input next week on whether to ban smoking on the beach.

Folks we spoke with have mixed feelings.

“I don’t think we should be Gestapo,” said Lou Belo, who is against a smoking ban on the beach. “It’s outside, it’s no problem, if people would only clean up after themselves.

“I’m not a smoker, but I’d support it,” Keith Hargrave said. “I mean, I walk up and down the beach. You can look in the sand right here there’s cigarette butts all over the place. People don’t respect the rules.”

The town council will hold a public hearing on a possible smoking ban at the beach during its next meeting Tuesday.

Debate over a smoking ban at the beach is nothing new. In november, Wrightsville Beach residents will have a chance to vote yea or nay for a smoking ban along their shores.

Carolina Beach Councilman Lonnie Lashley put the item on next week’s agenda after getting several complaints from residents. He would not talk to us on camera, but he says it has nothing to do with Wrightsville Beach.

Reactions to the debate were mixed at Carolina Beach, but one woman had an interesting viewpoint.

“It would be great,” Sheila Siebert said. “Even though I smoke.”

Siebert has smoked for years. She feels a ban at beach would help clean up both the air and water.

“I’m trying to kick the habit,” she said. “I’m working toward it, and I know it’s not healthy for none of us.”

The public can give their feedback during the town council meeting Tuesday night. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Carolina Beach Town Hall.

In the “Request for Town Council Action,” Town Manager Tim Owens suggests the town attorney determine if the town has the authority to impose a smoking ban on the beach under state law. He also writes that council need to figure out ho such a ban would be enforced.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest A

    Cigarette smoking is dangerous to children and others, no matter how you try to justify it. Non-smokers have rights and as soon as smokers learn to contain their smoke, then by all means… puff away. But as soon as the smoke leaves your cigarette, it is pollution that can effect others. To say otherwise shows how little regard you have for others’ LIFE… not to mention, Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.

    If you want to smoke on the beach, you might as well take all the kids from the elementary school and pick about three of them and say… you, you and you don’t matter…. asthma, can’t breathe well because of my smoke… who cares? I don’t.

    In addition, the life guards deserve a smoke-free work environment. My son is a life guard and he is constantly annoyed because he is having to breathe cigarette smoke. Its a distraction. Plus, when it comes to having to go on a rescue, they will be able to hold their breath longer without taking in a big huff of smoke before they dive in…. think about it. You want someone going on a rescue with distressed lungs from your smoke? Seriously? Have some regard for someone other than yourself.

  • Guest A

    There are no smoking bans currently on NC Beaches. I do not understand why you say there is intolerance. And studies show, smoke-free beaches enjoy increases in revenue because families are requesting more and more smoke-free areas for their kids to play.

  • frank walker

    smokers rights,sorry i mean all of our rights,liberty and freedoms are little by little being taken by pompous people who think everybody else is suppose to be like them and impose their ways of thinking on everyone else.thank god not everybody is alike.i dont mess with you,dont mess with me.id dare to say that if you can smell cigarette smoke in the air,outside on a clear breezy carolina beach day,you have problems much worse than my smoking a cigarette.

  • Runningbare

    And your “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is more important than non-smokers? You are more important than innocent children breathing your toxins? When you can keep your intentionally generated pollutants out of my lungs, and lungs of my children, then you can smoke all you want. We have as much right to be there as you do. And our “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” means we get to breathe the clean ocean air.

  • Guest2020

    If you don’t like how things are done, then you are welcome to stay away.

  • Guest211


  • Bobbie Herald

    Three years ago I started making vacation plans to the mountains and South Carolina. I usually spend quite a bit of money on my annual vacation however, because of smoking it became a hastle to try to visit the NC beaches.

    I never litter with cigarette butts but make sure I have something to put them in. I try to be considerate of people around me. The intolerence of people in North Carolina is forcing people to spend their money in other States. If your tourist income is such that you can afford to lose the smokers just keep on because you lost me 3 years ago.

    I would suggest putting a large fine on littering.

    Bobbie Herald

  • really?

    You could tell people there is a ban? you really think that will work?
    I for one would laugh in your face..This BAN means nothing,it will still be legal to smoke there!!! you cannot ticket,arrest anyone for smoking on the beach…near the water….this whole idea of a ban is a waste of time.Because law enforcement cannot do a thing about it period!!

  • Guest42

    It cannot be enforced therefore the ban is a waste of time,even thinking about a ban on this so stupid that most smokers will laugh at it,as they should.I f you dont like the smoke then just leave.

  • fish fan

    Let’s ban drinking at the north end oh wait! the town made 800k there last year I live across the street from the beach. folks this is a working class beach if you want to go to a beach that has no smoking you now have a choice why do all the beach communities imitate one another. I chose to live in CB because it is a working class town I have seen this town change over the years and not to disparage anyone but it is due to outsiders with money moving in and the ridicoulous real estate debaucle of 05 this place used to be a place that everone knew each other for better or for worse we acted as nieghbors now I hardly ever see a familar face it is quite sad that our little redneck riviera has been sold off and marked down as progress does anyone remember fishing on the north end before it became the hell hole it is now? you cannot cast a line ine the water without hitting some half drunk out of towner . The folks that have lived here for the past twenty years are getting pushed aside everyday by the vocal minority. they park in your yards and block your driveways and piss on your house when they walk down the steet hammered. what happened to our town? it has been tuned into some thing completly differant by too many carpet baggers. Quite frankly the old timers do not care what wrightville beach does just leave us alone or better yet just leave.

  • MBGuest

    We are visiting Wilmington at the end of the month for vacation. Seriously, people smoke on Carolina Beach? I don’t want to pay to vacation there and then have to leave due to smokers and gross pollution.

  • Guest 10101

    NEVER fails? EVERYTIME you go to the beach a group of smokers moves near you. SO CLOSE that even with the constant sea breeze, the smoke bothers you? EVERYTIME?

    With the majority of the population being non-smokers, how can that possibly be the case? Do smokers look for you and move next to you on purpose? Do you also get struck by lightning often?

    So now you want a ban just so you could TELL people there’s a ban?

    I don’t smoke and I’m against cigarette butt litter, but there’s only one way to describe your comments.

    What a giant pile of stupid !!!

  • Guest757

    This law can never be enforced. You can not stop anyone for smoking along the water line so it’s all just a waste of time.. It just gives people something to bi*#h about

  • ChefnSurf

    Everybody hates us! Nobody likes us! Waa waa waa! Just blame EVERYTHING on us! Waa waa waa! Keep on saying stuff like that and you won’t have to worry about being blamed for global warming. You’ll be blamed for propagating global stupidity.

    The issue is actually pretty simple. There are far too many cigarette butts left in the sand and that’s just not right. If you took the time to count, you’d find there are more butts than other individual pieces of other types of litter. Why do so many smokers feel it’s OK to do that? Probably because an individual butt just doesn’t feel all that consequential by itself. They’re wrong, and it’s wrong. I have friends at the beach who smoke and every one of them put their discarded butts into a container that’s disposed of later. If more smokers did that, this wouldn’t be a problem. If that actually happened, we wouldn’t even be talking about this now, and we are!

    If you ever get over your own personal pity party, it would be nice if you decided to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

  • GuestReality

    “Life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness” is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution; and your comment was way too harsh a response for a poster who was just posting her opinion. She’s entitled to her own opinion, just as you are.

  • B M

    I think it’s high time there should be a deposit put on cigarette butt’s, for starters .25cents, reason being every smoker I have seen throws their butt’s out of their cars and boat’s and etc…, the beach’s are trashed, the waterway’s are trashed, parking lot’s are trashed, even your private property is trashed, put a deposit on those butts and at least someone will pick them up or quit throwing them out for the rest of us to have to pick up, by the way, if I throw out a can I get a ticket, how many times a day does a LE just look the other way on a smoker???? I for one am tired of picking up after these people! Do they throw their butt’s in their own yard?

  • Guest6969696969

    and then we could tell people there is a ban.

    Would that make you feel all better? telling people What They can DO?? Their CHOICE?
    YOU FASCIST much?, bet your against GUNS TOO?
    Ever thought of Moving *Up-wind* therefore leaving people @ peace?… OH BUT NO>>>, You gotta Impose your thoughts & Ideas upon others… people like you are Threats too Life, Liberty & Pursuit of Happyness…eg the Constitution..

  • Guest6969696969

    That some-one “inventive”, In addition if I remember Correctly, that Carolina Beach spent monies on having this *Unique* Trash/scraper, that could “screen” the sand on the beach, picking up trash, but leaving shells/ clean Sand behind? being towed By a tractor or something of a sort?…
    WWAY Look into it, I remember the, Red Star Articals of this back in the day, (Late 80’s)reporting about it, what-ever happened to the Machinery?….
    Besides, yes, I smoke, (wish I didn’t), I wish I could quit.. Though when I do frequent the beach, (Surf-Fishing), I take My BUTTS & (other’s) trash w/me,Cans/Cups/Trash/*Tents*/Cans, KIDS TOYS…. Though I take care,disposing of MY BUTTS in My pocket…
    Don’t say, I can’t smoke on the BEACH….
    If your going to do this,, BAN PEOPLE.. NON-SMOKERS & SMOKERS alike, your using up 02 & Leaving C02 behind…
    Leave it to THE BIRDS & TURTLES, is that what Ya’ll Leftest/Progressive, Eco Freaks want right????
    NEXT FOLKS it WILL Be banning SURF Fishing…. It’s (for the childern ya know),, opps Turtles & Birds…

    Folks, Bottom,line is this, reguardless if you smoke or Not, visiting the beach, It’s as Simple as this, take your trash Back WITH YOU.. Simple Solution….
    To those whom say, I don’t wanna smell…. smoke, well Let Me come upwind from ya with a huge bag of ROTTEN Shrimp, you gonna ban people fishing with rotten shrimp? Hey, I don’t like ya’ll SURFERS, putting on a f-in TON of SUNSCREEN & blockers/tanning OILS thats PETROLEUM BASED creating a OIL SHEEN on the water???? (i DON’T LIKE THE SMELL OF COCONUTS, i’M ALLERGIC TO THEM) can I BAN YA’LL FROM THE BEACH????
    nuff said think on that, for awhile…

  • Guest705

    Cigarette filters are toxic to wildlife or small children who put them in their mouths. If smokers throw these onto our beaches then they should lose the right to smoke on our beaches.

    As for enforcement, most people down here obey the law. Its a nice place to come. For those that don’t, the town could probably make some revenue by hiring summer help to ticket violators. Honestly, I’d be happy to just see them ticket the butt tossers.

  • lynne

    This is getting ridiculous. People should pick up after themselves no matter what it is. Smokers are getting blamed for everything. Next it will be for global warming. Needed: an ordinance to ban music on the beach since it is not to everyone’s liking and the noise may hurt someone’s ears. Then food, because that litters. Children-they kick up sand on people’s blankets;carts-they take up too much room on the beach. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
    This country is being ruined because of all the regulations and laws that infringe on liberties.

  • Guest Question

    Stand in the water below the high tide line and smoke…no ones property. Just don’t throw your butts in the H2O. Speaking of Butts>…While they are at it, enforce a rule where you can’t take a leak or go #2 in the water…bad for the fish and bad for the digestive system!

  • Mky Jct Voter

    Wonderful idea! We go there to breath clean ocean air. Never fails – we find a spot where no one is smoking and then a group of smokers come and spread out next to us and we have to move. Sometimes we just leave! Of course there are always people who won’t follow the rules but if a posted ban would help and then we could tell people there is a ban.

  • ChefnSurf

    Smoking, outside, with a sea breeze? I can’t really see that as harmful to others. What Carolina Beach should ban is littering; that’s where the problem is.

    Not sure why so many smokers (not all, but far too many)think it’s perfectly OK to toss their used cancer sticks wherever they please. Look down at the ground by a red light and you’ll find a pile of butts. Parking lot: They dump out the entire ashtray. The beach, any beach: These pigs think the whole area IS the ashtray. If there was a pill that would cause a smoker to jam the used butt up his/her nose every time they tried to carelessly toss one away, I’d be for it.

    However ……..

    Carolina Beach has prohibited dogs on the beach during the summer season for years, yet that law is rarely enforced. If enforcement officials can’t even seem to see a dog, how will they ever spot something as small as cigarette butt?

    Makes no sense to put unenforcable laws on the books just because they’re politically correct. There’s enough of that nonsense going on already.

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