Treasure Island joins the growing list of Florida locales to ban smoking on beaches
A 2022 law allows local governments to create smoking zones and fines, enact stricter laws on butt disposal and outright bans. Cities and counties previously lacked that authority.
Another Florida beach will be smoke and vape free under a new state law.
Commissioners in Treasure Island, in Pinellas County, voted Wednesday to enact a ban after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bipartisan measure last year that allows cities to impose such restrictions.
The latest ban on cigarette smoking and e-cigarettes covers Treasure Island beaches, city parks, and a trail along the beach. Commissioners cited health and environmental benefits as reasons.
Smoking will still be allowed in public parking lots, and in some beach areas between the trail and hotels. Unfiltered cigars are still allowed.
"While this will be an adjustment for our residents and visitors, it is a big step forward in our conservation and environmental efforts. I am confident this will make our beaches a cleaner place for everyone to enjoy," Mayor Tyler Payne said.
It follows similar bans around the state, including Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Sarasota, Hernando County, Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Monroe County, St. Augustine, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach. Fernandina Beach, Panama City Beach and others sites.
The 2022 Florida Clean Air Act gives local governments the ability to create designated smoking zones and fines, enact stricter laws on the disposal of cigarette butts and even an outright ban. Cities and counties previously lacked that authority.
The idea behind prohibiting cigarettes and vaping is to control the smoking, secondhand smoke and litter left behind.
Researchers estimate that up to two-thirds of cigarette filters are discarded as litter that can take years to decompose and contains toxic substances that get into soil or sand. The waste from vape cartridges contributes to litter and contains mercury, lead and other toxic chemicals.