CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - Leaders in Carolina Beach are now looking at the reason for proposing a smoking ban. The two big arguments are trash on the beach and second-hand smoke.
Carolina Beach Councilwoman Sarah Friede said about 80% of North Carolina residents are not smokers. So, she said a smoking ban should not be a problem.
"What may have started initially as a littering or appearance issue, has become much more and I don't think we can turn a blind eye to risking the health and safety of people who come to the beach for some fresh air," Friede said.
She supports the ban but the town's mayor, Ray Rothrock, does not.
"I think we ought to focus on littering on the beach and not go beyond that," Rothrock said.
He said going beyond that would only create more problems.
"If we put the no smoking in place in the primary part of Carolina Beach, people are going to go elsewhere. They will go to Kure Beach, Fort Fisher wherever it's not in place," Rothrock said.
He said he believes a smoking ban would negatively affect the beach town's economy.
He said tax-payer money is being wasted on research researching the smoking ban and it said it's something the town would not be able to enforce.
But, Friede said people will self-police.
"I think that people will stop smoking on their own because that's what the law says," she said.
Town leaders will meet next month to discuss whether or not a vote is necessary for a smoking ban ordinance.