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.
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.