PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Smoking on Florida beaches may come to an end, starting on July 1.
Governor Ron Desantis signed a new law that will give counties and cities the option to ban smoking on their local beaches.
Some people are looking forward to the new possible rule.
“I think it should keep our beaches a little cleaner,” Cindy Freel said.
Others like Jennifer Moon said the ban should have some exceptions.
“Vaping, I think that’s different,” she said. “You know just because the smell isn’t as offensive to others but definitely cigarette smoking.”
Members of the Barrier Islands Governmental Council met Tuesday morning. President Alan Johnson said they would discuss the idea of a smoking ban on the different beaches.
He told 8 on Your Side the biggest concern is the littering smoking causes.
This law could be a step in the right direction to eliminate that, according to JP Brooker, Director of Florida Conservation for Ocean Conservancy.
“Cigarette butts are the number one item found on Florida’s beaches for the last 30 years straight,” he said.
Brooker said the health of Florida beaches is already at risk.
“When it comes to nutrient pollution, marine debris and changing climate, we here in Florida are going to be feeling the effects of these environmental hazards first and foremost,” he said. “More than anywhere else in the country.”