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FIRST ON 3: Reactions mixed as Carolina Beach considers smoking ban on beach

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Reactions mixed as Carolina Beach considers smoking ban on beach
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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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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No butts on the beach

Aaaaah, everyone enjoys a day at the beach with the warm sun, cool breeze, and the cigarette butts between your toes... wait a second! Do you prefer sandy beaches? Then support this smoking ban before we are building butt castles instead of sand castles! Anyone can see that cigarette butt litter, also known as TOXIC WASTE, is becoming a huge issue on our beaches. This ban will be difficult to enforce, but so is speeding. At least the ban will bring awareness, and most people will do the right thing just like most people don't speed. However, it seems as though most of the litter on our beaches comes from tourists who may or may not understand the dangers that come along with their left behind trash. Whether or not the ban goes into affect, we will still need to bring awareness to the community and tourists so that they will have the necessary information which is required for making the right decision to dispose of cigarettes and all trash properly.

Thank you, Surfrider. I

Thank you, Surfrider. I really hope a multitude of your members show up to the meeting on tuesday. After listening to all of the speakers at the BOEM hearing and seeing the results of your work on Wrightsville, it would be an honor to have you here.

After reading many of these responses, it is clear that its education/ awareness that needs to be promoted. Most of the smokers I've spoken with report no guilt over tossing their butts because they believe them to be biodegradable cotton. In fact, 95% of cigarette butts are made of acetate cellulose (plastic).

I have a six year old son with asthma and, as some stated above, it is difficult to find a smoke free area to enjoy the beach with him. There is no "up wind" when smokers are scattered the whole stretch of beach. We never ask anyone not to smoke and are always the ones to move. There has to be a way everyone can enjoy themselves.

I say, "Bring it on!". It's

I say, "Bring it on!". It's about time. I was there yesterday and had to pick up a half dozen butts just clear out a place for my kid to make a sandcastle.

The pigs that cannot pick up after themselves need to be fined, and are the ones to blame for the ban. Don't blame me, blame your brethren.

I'm all for it!

I'm all for it!

WONDERFUL!!!!

This would be a wonderful decision!!! I realize that there would be no real way to enforce the action except that when the Police actually see someone doing it. However, I would also add a provision that civil penalties could be handed out and that lifeguards would have the authority to write a civil violation. I am NOT saying that I would like the lifeguards looking for smokers rather than looking at the swimmers and ocean for harmful creatures, but a flagrant violator would be very easy to spot. A civil penalty for the littering would be wonderful, too.

I took my son down to Carolina Beach yesterday and had to clear out about 50 butts to put our stuff down. It was just us two, not taking up a very large space. I feel certain it was remnants of the previous nights fireworks, but that is ridiculous. I am 100% for the government to stay out of our day to day living, but when people clearly show the inability to make the right decision and do the right thing, then someone has to step in. Leaving cigarette butts on the beach is lazy, and uncaring and littering!!!

Do the right thing, Carolina Beach, and make it illegal to smike on that beautiful beach that you have and enforce as best you can. A few citations and a few civil fines will slowly get the point across that a privilidge was granted to the people (It is in no way a person's RIGHT to smoke, but a privilidge) and the people have abused it to the point that this is what is the next neccesaary step.

By the way, Carolina Beach Town Council proved that they can do the right thing and make the right decisions by watching traffic flow yesterday on and off the island, doing away with the Road Diet was the right decision!!!!

Superior Ruler WAC! $$$$$$$$$

Well a new way for WAC! -To exercise almighty fines, control of lowly working class citizens through municipal police, the alcohol system and now tobacco.

So you're saying ...

... this is all about controlling the "lowly working class"?

What a giant pile of stupid!

Brilliant thinking. Bring

Brilliant thinking. Bring back the road diet to.

I agree

Yes they should ban smoking on the beach,wouldnt matter if there was an ash tray every 2 feet.People who smoke dont see it as litter when they discard the butt.Hell if they dont care about thier own health what makes you think they are gonna care about the beach.You see them throwing them out on the drive to the beach,and the walk down to the beach.There is already enough trash left in the form of chairs,kids goggles,water botttles,ect and so on.Yes Im a former smoker,and if there wasnt a place to dispose of it I threw it on the ground.

Smoking on the beach

While CB seems to be trying to imitate WB, lets really let the gov't get out of the box. Some suggestions:
1. Enforce the existing noise and drinking laws.
(boy, wouldn't that be a change_)
2. Police Set up on Canal Dr. in the evening and see how many vehicles "switch" drivers when they can find a place to pull over after leaving Freeman Park. (wonder why?).
3. No Smoking, Drinking alcohol, smoking pot, loud music, unleashed animals anywhere including the Freeman Park.
4. Enforce the current law about how many people can be in the bed of a pick up truck, and be sitting on the cab top, sitting on the tailgate with legs hanging off, sitting on the edge of the bed, etc... Don't we already have laws that address this?? Yep !
5. If our current administration and LEOs choose to turn a blind eye towards all the violations already taking place, how can they stop you from smoking? Maybe "tax" you?
6. Many more, but this is enough for now.

Smoking on Carolina beach

Our family will be vactioning there in August and I personally am a smoker. I take a container with me on the beach and discard the butts later. Lets keep the land of the free and stop these laws from taking over! ENOUGH ALREADY! If the law is passed I will no longer be vacationing there.