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Local Governments Could Soon Regulate Tobacco Use At Parks And Beaches

Photo: Irina Iriser
Photo: Irina Iriser

Lawmakers are looking into a plan to let local governments regulate tobacco use at public parks and beaches.

Republican Senator Joe Gruters is sponsoring the measure. He says the impacts of smoking can have broad and lasting effects.
“You know its disgusting to have that second-hand smoke hit you, or have your kids put their hands in the sand and pick out those cigarette butts. But you know, we are fortunate enough to be home to Siesta Key Beach—one of the number one beaches a couple of times over the last 10 years, and numerous beaches around Florida have had that ranking and every time you get that ranking it leads to more tourism—not only for the area, but for the entire state. And Doctor Beach, who awards those rankings gives bonus points to beaches that are smoke free. So if we want to continue to drive tourism to our local economies we would support this great bill.” Lawmakers say every year hundreds of thousands of cigarette butts are left scattered on Florida’s beaches. An amendment in the Senate has created an exemption for pipe tobacco and cigars, which are typically biodegradable.