Lawmakers Target Beach Smokers

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Last week The Florida House overwhelmingly approved a proposal that would allow municipalities to ban cigarette smoking at beaches and parks.

This is a rarity of sorts, as the legislature has done more in recent years to take away the powers of local governments. Right now the state regulates smoking.

Florida House members voted 105-10 to pass HB 105. A similar proposal is circulating in the Senate.

If approved, the new law would give local municipalities, like the Fort Myers Beach town council, the power to pass smoking bans on public beaches and parks that they own.

A big reason this bill is destined to become law is the large amount of cigarette butts found on beaches and in parks. They are cited as one of the biggest sources of litter.

If Fort Myers Beach did pass such a law, like many others on the beach, it’s unclear how they would be able to enforce it. Town employees have very little power and it’s unlikely the Lee County Sheriff’s Department will spend much time writing tickets to smokers.

6 COMMENTS

  1. How about starting with a law requiring smokers to police their butts? Way less intrusive than an outright ban. I’m not a smoker, and I think it’s a harmful habit, but I’m also against unnecessary restrictions on any activity that is not harmful to others. And don’t start about second-hand smoke: on the beach with almost constant breezes? Please.

  2. That would be great and the sooner the better, cigarette & cigar butts are disgusting and they don’t belong on the beach or in the sand. The nasty things are at the water line, at the wrack line and throughout the the sand where children play and people walk, lay and sit. Spare me the “cigarette smokers pick up after themselves and take their butts with them” argument. They don’t.

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