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News Summary

Lawmakers move to ban smoking from beaches, parks

Publication Date: 2013-02-22
  • Author:Leigh Dana
  • Publication:

Gary Mills smokes 16 cigarettes a day.

"I think I might have had three on the beach today," he said.

But if some Florida lawmakers have their way, Mills could have to take his habit somewhere else.

Today, a Florida Senate committee unanimously passed a proposal to ban outdoor smoking in public places like beaches, parks and recreational areas like the Times Square area on Fort Myers Beach.

"I don't think it would bother me," Mills said.

The proposal would allow local governments to implement the smoke-free areas, just as long as smoking sections are also available...

Some lawmakers want to make sure beaches and public parks won't be totally off limits to smokers.

Under the proposal, those who break the law would be warned then ticketed for multiple offenses. Of course, many believe it would be hard to enforce.

"Tough? It would be almost impossible. You'd have a lot of finger-pointers," Mills said.

Today's vote is just one step. The bill still needs to pass through other committees before it goes to the Senate floor. A House version of the bill was filed this week.

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