Florida law would ban smoking on public beaches

Credit: Joe Raedle

Credit: Joe Raedle

A Florida lawmaker wants to make your next trip to the beach smoke-free.

Republican state Sen. Joe Gruters, who represents the Sarasota area, filed a measure Wednesday that would make it illegal to smoke on public beaches in Florida.

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The measure proposes police could give out citations to anyone smoking on a public beach.

People caught smoking would face a fine of as much as $25 or 10 hours of community service.

According to the Washington-based nonprofit group Ocean Conservancy, more than 95,000 cigarette butts were cleaned up from Florida beaches in a single day during a cleanup study in 2017.

Florida’s legislative session for 2019 begins March 5. If passed, the law could go into effect July 1 – just in time for your Fourth of July trip to the beach.

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