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Bill Would Allow Florida Counties To Ban Smoking At Beaches, Parks

A bill was proposed that would allow Florida counties to ban smoking on beaches and parks. CREDIT: RON CRUZ/FLIKR

A Florida lawmaker filed a bill that would allow counties to ban smoking on their public beaches and parks.

Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) introduced a bill during the last legislative session that would have banned smoking at all public beaches in Florida, but it did not make it out of committee.

The latest version of the bill would leave it up to individual counties to implement a smoking ban.

report by the Ocean Conservancy says cigarette butts are the main cause of beach pollution. About 60 million cigarette filters have been collected since the 1980s.

Gruter’s bill has passed the Community Affairs Committee and is awaiting review in the  Innovation, Industry, and Technology committee.

If it bill passes during the 2020 Legislative Session and gets signed into law, it would take effect in July.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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