"Butts will have no place at the beach if some Wrightsville Beach officials can get their way," says the Star-News. "Mayor David Cignotti has raised the possibility of banning smoking on the strand, and most of his colleagues supported the concept at an aldermen's retreat Saturday.
A state law went into effect on Jan. 2 that banned smoking in bars and restaurants. It also allows municipalities to enact their own stricter bans.
Alderman Bill Sisson said he has been on numerous beach sweeps picking up litter, and it's impossible to pick up all the cigarette butts in just a one-block area. "The turtle people would love (a smoking ban)," he added, referring to the harm that cigarette toxins left in the sand can do to wildlife, in addition to the litter problem. ...Alderwoman Lisa Weeks said a smoking ban would discourage smokers. "If we can deter half the people from smoking," she said, the effort would be worthwhile.
Cignotti said that a public hearing should be set on the topic.
If family-friendly Wrightsville Beach passed a smoking ban for the strand, it would be the first beach town in North Carolina with such a policy, although Sally Malek, a tobacco coordinator with the N.C. Division of Public Health, said that Buncombe County has banned smoking on all county-owned property, including parks.
Surfside City in South Carolina has a beach smoking ban, according to Erin Morrissette, the tobacco prevention coordinator for New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. ...
Raleigh was looking into a smoking ban in parks at one point as well.