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FIRST ON 3: Reactions mixed as Carolina Beach considers smoking ban on beach

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Another area beach town is considering snuffing smoking on the sand. The Town of Carolina Beach wants public input next week on whether to ban smoking on the beach.

Folks we spoke with have mixed feelings.

“I don’t think we should be Gestapo,” said Lou Belo, who is against a smoking ban on the beach. “It’s outside, it’s no problem, if people would only clean up after themselves.

“I’m not a smoker, but I’d support it,” Keith Hargrave said. “I mean, I walk up and down the beach. You can look in the sand right here there’s cigarette butts all over the place. People don’t respect the rules.”

The town council will hold a public hearing on a possible smoking ban at the beach during its next meeting Tuesday.

Debate over a smoking ban at the beach is nothing new. In november, Wrightsville Beach residents will have a chance to vote yea or nay for a smoking ban along their shores.

Carolina Beach Councilman Lonnie Lashley put the item on next week’s agenda after getting several complaints from residents. He would not talk to us on camera, but he says it has nothing to do with Wrightsville Beach.

Reactions to the debate were mixed at Carolina Beach, but one woman had an interesting viewpoint.

“It would be great,” Sheila Siebert said. “Even though I smoke.”

Siebert has smoked for years. She feels a ban at beach would help clean up both the air and water.

“I’m trying to kick the habit,” she said. “I’m working toward it, and I know it’s not healthy for none of us.”

The public can give their feedback during the town council meeting Tuesday night. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Carolina Beach Town Hall.

In the “Request for Town Council Action,” Town Manager Tim Owens suggests the town attorney determine if the town has the authority to impose a smoking ban on the beach under state law. He also writes that council need to figure out ho such a ban would be enforced.

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