Wrightsville Beach considers a smoking ban

Per the Greater Wilmington Business Journal:

A smoking ban on Wrightsville Beach will be considered by the town alderman next month. The ban, if passed, would make Wrightsville the first beach in North Carolina to go smoke-free.

The Town of Wrightsville Beach voted against a smoking ban on the beach in May 2010 because of enforcement issues and wanting to focus on other priorities such as education.

“I personally don’t believe in passing an ordinance that you can’t enforce,” said Robert Simpson, Wrightsville Beach town manager. He said he has received about 400 emails on the issue, many of which have come from outside the Wrightsville Beach area.

Wilmington’s Aaron Richardet, who is an executive board member of California-based Surfrider Foundation, is leading the push to pass the local beach smoking ban. The organization has launched an on-line petition to garner support.

Richardet said his family has removed 38,585 cigarette butts from Wrightsville Beach over 115 beach clean-ups.

Check out the soft ledes to push the idea. From the StarNews:

On a recent visit to Wrightsville Beach, a young girl sat on the strand constructing a sandcastle. As she scraped the sand to build the towers, the 3-year-old stumbled upon a cigarette butt. And proceeded to put it in her mouth.

Sean Ahlum, chairman of the Cape Fear chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, shared that experience with the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen on Thursday.

And the UNC-Wilmington Seahawk:

Every year when the sun starts to come out, citizens of Wilmington and surrounding areas head to Wrightsville Beach to soak up the rays and take a dip in the water.  The people who head to Wrightsville Beach go to escape stress and relax, but when they reach the beach they are confronted with second-hand smoke and cigarette butts littering the cool sand. …

“I had to stop a little boy from eating a cigarette butt one time. His parents didn’t realize what he was doing until I kind of yelled for him to stop. I felt bad for my abrupt outburst, but I couldn’t let him eat that,” said Scott Presley, a visitor of Wrightsville Beach.

Sounds like Wrightsville Beach has a litter problem, not a smoking problem. Isn’t littering on Wrightsville Beach already illegal? It is, in fact, and it comes with a steep fine. If one law hasn’t worked, what makes Wrightsville think another would?

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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