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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Wrightsville Beach is the first beach town in North Carolina to ban smoking on the sand. Voters took to the polls and approved the ban that will likely go into full effect next spring by a margin of 65 percent for compared to just 35 percent against.

Earlier this year, Mayor david Cignotti said the town would first implement the ban through education before exercising the right to fine people who light up.

Comment on this Story

  • May Kay

    GREAT!!!! Take your toxicating smoke and butts elsewhere!!!! WB doesn’t want you anyway!!!!!

  • Linda Vitek

    The signs at Wrightsville Beach will soon read “NO PEOPLE ALLOWED ON THE BEACH” The list of things you can’t do just gets longer and longer bu they keep raising the parking fees. I will not go there any longer. C’ya WB!!!!

  • lizbelle

    Sorry for the inconvenience. Smoke does travel in the air and it is a health risk, both my husband and I ( former smokers) react immediately to smoke with vicious migraines that requires medication and often lasts the rest of the day. And he gets a burning lung pain. Do you know that there are hundreds of chemicals in the burning smoke? We go to the beach to get fresh air. So happy for this new law! You can quit. My husband was a 3 pack a day smoker,now he can’t tolerate it!

  • Pompus Jerk

    Aren’t you the righteous one. Well I hope they ban your toxic plastic wrappers from the food you bring, or the plastic cups from the beer you drink on the beach you entitled jerk.

  • The Voice of Reason

    This is certainly not surprising. As a former long-term resident of WB and a smoker, I can understand both sides. However, I will not be returning there on vacation. It is a shame that a few people ruinned it for everyone. I used to pick up other people’s cigarrete butts when coming in from a surf. I can certainly understand the ban from a littering stand point, but I used to see lots of other forms of litter as well, such as food wrappers, cups, soda cans, water bottles, etc. Therefore, I propose that all food and drink of any kind be banned at Wrightsville Beach. Let’s really keep the beach clean!

    Sounds rediculous? It’s just as rediculous as banning smoking. It is fairly simple really. Non-smokers have no concept of how inconveient it is for smokers. They treat it as if it is just something that a person chooses to do. Airports are a perfect example of this. Folks, I have news for you. Smoking is an “addiction,” not just a choice. If society wants to ban smoking everywhere, then they should make it illegal, and I am in favor of this. Even though I do plan to quit in the near future, I do recognize the fact that as long as smoking is legal, people have a right to smoke and to ban smoking in an outdoor area is absurd. Cigarrete smoke outdoors is a nuissance, not a health risk. If you want to ban it because of that, then you should ban automobiles because of their emissions. Perhaps, if you loaded up your mini van and went on a camping trip to the mountains you would be dumb founded if the camp ground didn’t allow camp fires (which produce a lot more emissions than cigarretes).

    Is any of this sounding rediculous? Really? So just how far do you want to take it? Logically, these are all valid arguments! Well, as for me, I will be vacationing else where.

  • Michelle C. Sherwood

    Really upset that this passed. Are you kidding me. What is wrong with the people of WB. I don’t live in Wilmington anymore but my mother still does. I go to WB every summer and lay out away from the pier and people and smoke always picking up my butts and other people’s as well. I think this is ridiculous now I may have to consider going to another beach in which will be farther to drive. So unfair……..

  • smokefree

    I knew that when the WB legislators chose not to approve a smokefree beach policy when so many of the residents made it clear they wanted to go that route that their constituents would do the work themselves.

    Well, congratulations. Job well done.

    For those previous commenters who say they won’t go to WB anymore: Don’t let the sand hit you on the way out! For every nicotine addict who chooses to go elsewhere, there will be double the amount who will fill your spot on the beach. And they won’t be leaving the tiny toxic waste dumps that were previously left there by those who are destined to have a shortened life cycle.

  • Guest 10101

    Seems pretty silly to drive all the way from CB to go to the beach in WB.

    I’m sure the police state of WB would enjoy you even more if it was on a permanent basis and you’d save so much fuel you might even be up for some sort of “green” award.

    In the interim, please fee free to enjoy WB”s unlimited limited parking and feel free to smile as they scan your license plate and run a background check on you each and every time you enter or leave their fair metropolis.

    All these features and much,much more will be available to you at no additional charge. Enjoy!

  • smokefree

    To CB resident: I’m sure your trip to WB is worth it for a relaxing and enjoyable smokefree day at the beach. But CB has started the ball rolling to adopt a smokefree beach policy as well.

    Earlier this summer, the Town Council approved by a 4-1 vote to make the beach at CB smokefree, but the town needs to get the state legislature to approve the request before the policy can be adopted.

    Why not start a dialogue with your state representative (if you have not already done so) and also contact the Americans For Non-Smokers Rights for support. Their website is http://www.no-smoke.org. Good luck.

  • Vog46

    But I think that this could, and will be, challenged in court.
    It would make for some interesting case law.


  • CB resident

    The people that are so “furious” about the smoking ban are exactly the people WB won’t miss. How about picking up your trash instead of complaining about a smoking ban? I live in CB and I would love it if there were no smoking or driving on the beach because the trash left behind is disgusting. I will be traveling to WB to enjoy many butt free beach days!

  • NEPender

    Just one more reason to add to my list to stay away from Wrightsville Beach. I prefer the beaches on Pleaure Island, Pender County and Emerald Isle to Wrightsville Beach anyways…

  • Guest211


  • Ken Gregory

    Maybe while getting rid of the wrappers and plastic cups they can get rid of some of the true eyesores, obese people wearing thongs!Sounds fair to me!

  • taxpayer

    second-hand spit…Wrightsville Beach must welcome those who chew and dip. Just don’t leave your Skoal cans and Redman bags on the beach…that would be littering.

  • GuestFire

    Well there goes the neighborhood!. Can’t say that I am not suprised. WHile I don’t smoke on the beach as a rule, it still reeks of elitism and shows WBNC only wants to allow locals on the beach. Oh well, Oak Island here I come.

  • Local 51

    Well Wrightville Beach is going to take away smoking on the beach.I am a non smoker but this is really going a step to far.Now I really want to put a gate on the top of the bridge and only the people that live there may enter.Since this is the way the WB people want it,take away all the county tax money and see how long they survive.

  • WilmingtonNCNative

    Wrightsville Beach would be thrilled to be another Figure 8….it has always been that way, and always will. They don’t want anyone to come to their little island, except when they need beach renourishment, or need to move an inlet for Shell Island Resort. That is why I don’t go there, or spend my money there…as far as I’m concerned, it can all fall into the Atlantic Ocean….

  • cintrek62

    If you whiney butts would have just thrown your cig butts in the trash where they belong I doubt this ban would have even been on the ballot. But NOOOO smokers believe that once that butt leaves their fingers not their problem. Someone else would clean up after their lazy butts. Still I believe if they would just enforce the litter law & charge each time someone litters. I feel the ban was a waste of taxpayer $$$ when tossing butts is littering. I see them everywhere.

    I’ve been to smokefree beaches & it definitely didn’t stop the thousands of people going plus it was a great boom for their economy because it is so clean & butt free. On a holiday weekend there would be 10,000plus tourists on the beach-had to get there early just to have a spot for the chair. I really enjoyed walking the beaches without stepping over butts. The residents even volunteered their time for their town to educate tourists, set up beautiful gazebos for smokers, free parking at the beach front. Granted there were buttheads who would light up on the beach & it wasn’t long before someone would say something then if they refused then the police would be called in. Mostly folks would follow the smoke free law.

  • Guest757

    Ok If you don’t want people smoking on “YOUR” beach they can stand in the water and smoke and there’s NOTHING you can do about it…

  • Guestnope

    going to stand below the mean high water line and puff away.

  • Guest 1492

    So, specifically, where was this smoke free beach that was so crowded (that sounds terrible by the way) that you had to get to early just to get a spot for a chair, with tourist education centers manned by volunteers, smoker’s gazebos, and free beach front parking for 10,000 tourists? Wow, those free parking lots must be huge by the way.

    With all of those chairs you had to step over and around I would guess it would be hard to spot a butt even if one was there.

    Been to a lot of beaches but don’t seem to recall one just like that. Just curious as to exactly what beach your talking about.

  • jj

    Just go and stand in the water. Don’t think they own that.

  • Blowur Smoke

    Hi JJ think I will move to Colorado and do my legal Marijuanna smoking on the Colorado. I can’t believe one town says no on cigarett smoking and a whole state passes Marijuanna smoking. I will not be going back to the smokeless beach. This needs to be smoke up there A%%%%

  • Guest Reply

    I bet they do! Up to the low tide sector anyway ;-)
    Enforcement will be expected and left up to the Life Guards…you know…double up their work.
    By the way…Wrightsville Beach doesn’t want locals there anyway, or there would be a 10% discount on hotel/motel stays.
    Speaking of discounts…you may see more of these to re-establish tourism perks.
    Just don’t go there. You won’t miss fighting for a parking spot at 6:00 in the morning, for “ALL” your pocket change.

  • Guest111

    You can’t enforce this law any more than you have enforced no drinking on the beach. I smoke and I can assure you they won’t stop me. This is so dumb.

  • Don Ward

    The Nanny State on steroids……..

  • Guest6969696969

    Carolina Pier/Northern Ext.; Kure Beach Pier, WELCOMES you! Town of Carolina & Kure, visit US and have a good time!

  • Beach Bum

    Hope Wrightsville Beach businesses suffer because of this ridiculous ban.

    I know I will no longer support any beach renourishment projects for any community in the region and I will no longer support any projects to protect wildlife and wetlands.


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