A new bill has been introduced and unanimously passed by the Environment and Natural Resources Committee in the Florida Senate. The bill in question would allow counties and cities to enact restrictions on smoking on beaches and public parks that they own. Jason Brodeur (R), the Chairman of the committee, introduced an amendment that was also passed, and the amendment would prevent local government from banning pipe smoking or cigar smoking on parks and beaches.
This is an issue that Florida Republicans have long wanted to address. Last year, Florida State Senator Joe Gruters (R) introduced a similar bill because only the Sunshine State is allowed to ban any type of smoking at beaches. This year, it appears that Gruters is enlisting the support needed to make his case across the state of Florida.
Florida is home to 67 county park systems, and it also includes more than 400 municipal park systems.
A staff analysis of the bill found that “it. Is estimated that, of the roughly 6 trillion cigarettes smoked annually worldwide, up to two-thirds of cigarette buts are discarded as litter.”
This contributes to environmental concerns that Florida lawmakers have been quickly trying to respond to. The review further notes that. “the butts contain hazardous substances that can potentially be toxic to animals.”