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Wrightsville Beach works on plan to enforce smoking ban on beach


WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Last fall Wrightsville Beach became the first non-smoking beach in North Carolina. Now town leaders are deciding how to enforce the ban.

The town will post signs at all beach accesses, along with cigarette receptacles to prevent smoking before hitting the sand. Two beach ambassadors will also patrol the beach during the summer to educate tourists.

A lot of people said it is not really a matter of smoking or not smoking. It is a matter of littering.

"I don't think people should litter on the beaches," Carlissa Whitlatch said during a visit to Wrightsville Beach. "Even if it is cigarette ashes or cigarette smoke, it is still littering. And it takes a while to dissolve a cigarette ash."

Mayor David Cignotti says with a little education, folks will obey the law. He is also working with Wrightsville Beach School students to design no smoking signs that would add a softer touch to the new rule. It's an idea the town tried when enforcing cleaning up after dogs at the beach. Cignotti said it worked.

Ambassadors will warn people smoking on the beach until everyone gets used to the new rule. After that, the violation of the new beach ordinance will result in a fine up to $50.

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