WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- "If anybody throws a cigarette butt on the ground, they're lazy and despicable," said Wrightsville Beach resident Ashley Bown.
That seemed to be a sentiment echoed by most residents at the Wrightsville Beach public forum Thursday night. The overwhelming majority of the crowd supported a ban on smoking at the beach. While some people touted the negative health affects cigarettes can have, most people seemed more concerned with the litter they leave behind - some even presented the board with examples.
"If an individual wants to smoke a cigarette then they need to take care of that problem of disposing of you know the excess butt or whatever it is," said Wrightsville Beach resident Travis Carson.
Wrightsville Beach already has a fine for littering on the beach. But aldermen and resident agree it's not enforced.
"The main challenge will be not having enough policemen, and not having enough people to go out on the beach and controlling it," said Alderman Susan Collins.
The board said it would put a strict emphasis on the littering ordinance and revisit a no smoking policy in the future. But Mayor David Cignotti and Alderman Bill Sisson supported the ban. Sisson says putting a stop to smoking at the beach might take work, but would be more effective in the long run.
"When you're faced with a behavior like that and you have the opportunity to actually do something about it, then it seems to me that it's incumbent on the elected officials to go ahead and take a stand, make the decision and try to get the thing to work out," said Sisson.