KURE BEACH, N.C.--Another New Hanover County beach is considering banning smoking on the beach strand.
The question is now on the table. Will Kure Beach decide to stop beach goers from lighting up on the sand? Even if they do, how enforceable will the ban be?
Beach goer Amber Gill said she, for one, has a very important reason for having the opinion she does. "I'd rather it be a law that you can't smoke on the beach, especially with me being pregnant. I don't want to inhale someone else's smoke in."
The town council will discuss the possibility at its meeting on Thursday, but nothing will be decided until a public hearing next month.
Mayor Dan Lambeth has already thrown in his support, but if smoking was banned on the beach, people would still be allowed to smoke below the high water mark.
Many believe that will make enforcing the ban a difficult task. Beach visitor Drew Lawson expressed his frustrations. "There are too many people. There are not enough resources to monitor that. I think people are going to do it, no matter what," he said.
Cigarette smoke isn't the only thing many beach visitors said bothers them. "It litters," Lawson said. "The smell ... it's in your face."
However, some non smokers say they don't have an issue with people lighting up in the sand. Visitor Scott Lake said, "It is an open air environment, so it's not as bad as if it were in a restaurant or something like that."
But Gill says one thing should matter, the fact that the beach is a public area. "Most other public places, it's banned to smoke, like in restaurants. So, why shouldn't they ban it on the beach? You can go somewhere else to do it if you need to."
The other two beaches considering bans are Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach. The Carolina Beach Town Council will have a public hearing next month. Wrightsville Beach voters will decide whether or not they want a smoking ban in November.