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CAROLINA BEACH (WWAY) — Should smoking be snuffed out at Carolina Beach? That’s what town leaders asked the public Tuesday night.

“I can tell you that my e-mail and voicemails have been flooded with both pros and cons,” Mayor Pro Tem Steve Shuttleworth said.

Several concerned citizens took to the podium to voice why they support or oppose a ban on the beach.

“Cigarette butts are litter, and they’re ingested by turtles, fish, dolphins and even whales,” Carolina Beach resident Scott Veals said.

The issue of the butts being left behind is what fueled the passion of some of Tuesday’s speakers.

Kevin Murphy owns Odysea Surf School. He says he’s standing up for the children on the beach.

“All the children in this entire state would love to see a ban, and I have a lot of passion for it, because they really want it banned,” Murphy said.

One resident said he opposes the ban because he says he doesn’t want government telling him what he can and can’t do.

The council is reviewing Wrightsville Beach’s efforts to put a ban up to a vote of the people. Shuttleworth said after today, leaders hope to have a better idea of what residents want in their town.

“People are saying that it’s over-regulation, we don’t need regulation, and other people saying it’s a health issue and it’s a trash issue,” Shuttleworth said. “Those are the things we want to hear from the citizens about and make a decision if it’s something we do want to move forward with or not move forward with.”

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