RALEIGH, NC (WECT) – State lawmakers moved closer to
stopping any local governments from regulating outdoor smoking on government
property Tuesday afternoon.
A co-sponsor of Senate Bill 703 mentioned Wrightsville Beach
by name before the Senate
Agriculture/ Environment/ Natural Resources Committee passed the bill.
E.S. ‘Buck' Newton (R – Johnston) told committee members that he was alarmed
when he read headlines about the beach town's effort to ban smoking on the
sand. Newton said he could not imagine how smoking a tobacco product at
a windy beach could be a criminal act.
The bill would prohibit local governments from regulating outside smoking more than
state law allows.
Beach was the first beach town in the state to make smoking on the beach
illegal after a vote in November 2012. Town
Manager Tim Owens said the law would force Wrightsville Beach to repeal the