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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Editorials Editorial: Smoking Ban: Sounds Nice On Paper: Reality Check

Editorial: Smoking Ban: Sounds Nice On Paper: Reality Check

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

Sure, it sounds nice on paper but if the Town of Carolina Beach adopts a smoking ban, short of doubling their police force and buying 20 more ATV's for officers to ride up and down the beachfront, it will be just that, only something that looks good on paper. The Town has issued zero tickets for littering on the beach in Town limits this year-to-date. Tickets for dogs on the beach are few and far between.
Heck, even many beach trashcans are piled up a foot over the top at the end of the day. Not supposed to drink on the beach, but people do it anyway. Cops aren't likely to go out on cooler patrol any time soon. It's arguable whether a smoking ban will be enforceable beyond the high water mark. If I'm from Ohio or another inland state and get a ticket, what makes you think I'm coming back or paying the fine? Heck of a way to thank me for paying sales tax, room occupancy tax, high NC gas tax and fueling the economy. I can go help another beach that doesn't hound me with regulations. On the other hand, who actually believes the Town will enforce such a ban? Nine times out of ten police will be too busy in the summer months to give more than a warning to those tourists who claim they had no idea. 
And the people that appeal citations costing your attorney nearly $200 an hour for an appeal of a $50 citation will start to get really expensive. State law says violators aren't responsible for court costs.
It's hilarious the Town is willing to impose a smoking ban within Town limits, but not at Freeman Park. A beachfront cash-cow 4x4 vehicle park generating tons of cash annually for the Town. Glad to see our Town has their fiscal priorities on the straight and narrow right up there with their environmental awareness.