WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - The two-year battle has finally come to an end with Wrightsville Beach residents voting to ban smoking on the beach.
Of 1,675 residents, 966 voted in favor of the smoking ban at Wrightsville Beach.
Town officials will now have to prepare the beach as a non-smoking zone, putting up signs and violation fines.
Law enforcement will also have to train officers and lifeguards on being vigilant and when to start handing out citations.
This is a big win for the Cape Fear Surfrider Foundation who has been working hard to spread awareness about the hazards of smoking and making sure residents are informed enough to vote for the ban.
Town Council of Wrightsville Beach repeatedly voted against the ban 3-2. Their main concern was enforcement.
Wrightsville Beach is the first beach in North Carolina to ban smoking on its shores. The town was able to put this issue on this year's ballot because the beach is town owned.
Other North Carolina beaches have tried to ban smoking but were unsuccessful because of ownership rights. The Town Council of Carolina Beach passed a smoking ban but in order for it to take effect, the state would have to make it a law.