Carolina Beach is taking steps to become the first community in North Carolina to ban smoking on the beach.
The Town Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to pass an ordinance banning beach smoking. But the date the ordinance would take effect would have to come from the state legislature.
Because the beach is not an enclosed area, a local ordinance to ban smoking would need a new state law to allow it to go forward. Councilman Lonnie Lashley told the council it's important to pursue the issue with local lawmakers next year in Raleigh.
Mayor Ray Rothrock voted against the ban. He says he wants to focus on strengthening the town's litter ordinance before passing an outright ban on smoking on the beach.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)