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News Summary

Bill would allow smoking ban in parks, playgrounds

Publication Date: 1/26/2013
  • Author:Morgan Watkins
  • Publication:Gainesville Sun

The city of Gainesville can't legally ban smoking in the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, but a new bill introduced in the Legislature aims to give it that power.

State Sen. Rob Bradley, whose district includes Alachua County, has introduced a Senate bill, SB 258, that would give cities and counties the ability to adopt ordinances that further restrict people from smoking on their property.

The bill would give local governments control over smoking regulations in their communities by removing a pre-emption in the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act that forbids such ordinances.

"The goal of the legislation is simple: When I take my kids to a public park or playground, I would like to do so without there being cigarette butts and smoking occurring in the park or playground," Bradley said.

Eliminating the pre-emption would give cities and counties the ability to restrict smoking in those areas. The benefit is twofold because it protects the health of children and other residents enjoying a city- or county-owned park and also diminishes the littering problem posed by discarded cigarette butts, Bradley said.

The bill would allow local governments to use their discretion when deciding if anti-smoking ordinances are beneficial to their respective communities...