Bill Proposes Statewide Smoking Ban On Florida Beaches

COCOA BEACH, Florida -- A bill sponsored by Republican Florida Senator Rob Bradley in Tallahassee proposes statewide regulation of smoking that would supersede any municipal or county ordinance regulating smoking on public beaches.  Bradley's Florida Senate district is comprised of land-locked Alachua, Bradford, and Clay counties in North Florida

The bill also empowers municipalities or counties the ability to further restrict smoking at entrances to public indoor workplaces and outdoor areas of such workplaces, and property owned or controlled by a municipality or county, including beaches, playgrounds, public parks, and sports and recreation areas.

The areas where smoking is restricted by local governments must be identified by “No Smoking” signs that delineate the area where smoking is restricted and also provide and identify nearby smoking areas.

But before a law enforcement officer can issue a citation for a violation, the officer must first direct the violator to stop smoking and advise him or her of the penalties for a violation (which is similar to the warnings already issued by Beach Rangers in Cocoa Beach for ordinance violations.)  

If the person does not heed the directive, the officer must then ask the person to leave the premises.  If the person refuses to leave the premises, a civil citation may then be issued for $100 for a first offense, and $500 for subsequent offenses.

UPDATE: The bill died during the Florida Legislative Session, but lawmakers are promising to revive the bill next Session.

PHOTO: Brevard Times / File 



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