Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances

Action Alert

Floridians, demand real local control for smokefree air!

Publication Date: 2013-03-19

Floridians, demand real local control for smokefree air!

In 2013, Florida celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Clean Indoor Air Act, which brought smokefree air to many indoor workplaces in the Sunshine State. This anniversary is a tremendous milestone, and we congratulate the advocates and partners who worked so hard to achieve this success. 

The anniversary is also cause for reflection about how far Florida has fallen behind in the last 10 years. Workers in bars, restaurant patios, and music venues are still breathing toxic secondhand smoke on the job.

Did you know that multiple Florida communities have tried to adopt smokefree park and beach laws, only to be told they are prohibited from doing so by the preemptive state law?

Florida’s antiquated preemption law prohibits cities and counties from adopting their own smokefree protections. At ANR, we hear from bartenders, karaoke hosts, musicians, city council members, and residents like you who all want Florida communities to have the right to respond to the growing local interest to have smokefree laws not just in bars and music venues, but also for restaurant patios, parks, beaches, recreation facilities, and other spaces where the public gathers.

Thankfully, a small but growing number of cities and counties have adopted resolutions asking the Florida legislature to repeal preemption and restore local control for smokefree air. Will your community be the next one to join Cape Canaveral, Martin County, Indian Rocks Beach, Gilchrist County, and others in adopting a resolution?

The 2013 Florida legislature started on March 5. Two bills, SB258 and HB439, were introduced to chip away at local control by allowing cities and counties to adopt smokefree laws for outdoor city/county property, like parks and beaches. Unfortunately, both bills require that any smokefree law include a designated smoking area. This requirement defeats the purpose of giving local control back to communities, if they cannot adopt effective smokefree laws that truly protect health.

Will you take action?

1. Click here to contact your state legislators to ask them to support a strong, meaningful bill to restore local control instead of SB258 and HB439, which require smoking areas. Local control allows each community to discuss the issue, listen to their citizens, and make their own choice about creating more smokefree spaces.

2. Ask your City Council or County Commission to adopt a resolution in support of restoring local control. You can print or email a sample resolution at  Communities are demanding the ability to expand smokefree protections to workplaces and outdoor public places that have been left behind. Encourage your City Council or County Commission to be the next Florida community to support local control.

3. Send this email to your family, friends, and co-workers and ask them to speak up too. Every action you take matters!

Thanks for taking action!