Do you want more smokefree air in Florida?
Publication Date: 2/3/2012
What do Cape Canaveral, Gilchrist County, and Martin County have in common? They have all adopted resolutions asking the Florida legislature to restore local control for smokefree air.
These communities have joined the movement to give Florida cities and counties the right to debate and adopt smokefree air laws. Now your voice and your community’s support are needed to continue the momentum.
Did you know that 2/3rds of the U.S. has stronger smokefree laws than Florida?
Florida is one of the only U.S. states to prohibit cities and counties from protecting public health from secondhand smoke exposure. Without local control, Florida communities have fallen dangerously behind the rest of the U.S. in eliminating secondhand smoke exposure in workplaces and public places.
Florida communities cannot adopt laws to bring smokefree air to bars, restaurant patios, music venues and other workplaces left out of the 2003 Florida Clean Indoor Air Act. Also, Florida communities also are not permitted to adopt laws for outdoor areas where people gather, like beaches, playgrounds, and parks.
This year, there are two bills in the Florida legislature that aim to give communities control over smokefree air in some outdoor areas. These bills are a small but important step forward for Florida communities.
Here are three things you can do to help:
1. Send an email to your state representative and senator, and ask them to support Senate Bill 746 and House Bill 143. Urge them to restore local control so local governments can solve local problems with secondhand smoke. These bills would allow communities to restrict outdoor smoking on municipal or county property. These bills are only the first step towards the goal of fully restoring local control of smokefree air for all areas—and lawmakers need to hear from you that this issue matters.
2. Ask your City Council or County Commission to adopt a resolution asking the Florida Legislature to fully restore local control of smokefree air to Florida communities. Click here for a sample resolution. Remind them that it is the right and responsibility of local governments to address health and safety concerns in their communities. If your city or county adopts a resolution, please send us a copy, so we can track the growing support in Florida.
3. Tell us your story. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here at ANR, we hear from many Floridians with a variety of secondhand smoke exposure problems from bartenders and musicians having to work in smoke-filled environments to earn a paycheck, to others wanting to prevent their family from having to be a cloud of smoke at athletic facilities and other spaces. Your story will help demonstrate that Floridians are demanding action be taken to protect public health.
Want more information?
The time has come for Florida to restore local control so that communities can adopt smokefree air laws that help create cleaner, healthier, more vibrant places to work and play.
If you are interested in learning more about preemption in Florida, please see Preemption of Smokefree Air Laws in Florida at http://www.protectlocalcontrol.org/docs/Florida_preemption_factsheet_2011.pdf. You can also visit our friends at the Tobacco Prevention Network of Florida.