Surf City considers smoking ban on beaches

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Surf City is one of few North Carolina beaches that still allows smoking, but that could change come June.

Surf City Town Council held a workshop Friday to discuss banning all smoking from their beaches. Leaders say too many cigarette butts are left behind, dirtying the beaches and posing a danger to the area’s wildlife.

“I’ve seen seagulls pick them up, I don’t know if they eat them or not, but either way its bad for the environment and the beach here on Surf City,” said Yogi Paliotti, a long time Surf City resident.

Surf City already gives out pocket ashtrays for smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts and there is also a 2-block radius on each side of the pier where smoking is not allowed. Despite the existing policies, people walking the area still notice cigarette butts every few feet.

“This is one of the big concerns with the cigarette butts, and the butts is the problem," said Mayor Doug Medlin. "Now we do ask that everybody use the ashtrays, the pocket ashtrays, but some people just don’t do it. They just throw the cigarettes down or put them out wherever they’re sitting on the beach.”

Medlin said he expects the topic will be discussed at a future town council meeting, potentially as early as council’s June 4 meeting.

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