HORRY COUNTY, SC -- Surfside Beach is following the lead of many areas by going smoke free in public places like restaurants and bars, but for what may be the first time anywhere on the Carolina coast, the smoking ban also includes the beach.
Town council member Sammy Truitt says he's recieved many phone calls protesting the ban but says the majority of the town supports the move.
Truitt says the beach access areas can be a popular spot for the smokers to gather and that puts other beachgoers' health at risk.
"This is about public health. We are trying to create an environment where people aren't in smoke that can harm us and our kids," said Truitt.
Supporters say making the beach smoke free is a step in the right direction and will help keep the sand butt free, although many smokers we spoke with say the ban is going too far.