SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Smoking at Sarasota County-owned beaches and parks will no longer be allowed starting next month. The decision comes after the Sarasota County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 to prohibit smoking on county-owned beaches in July.

During the July 11 BCC meeting, commissioners voted to adopt an ordinance prohibiting smoking at all county-owned beaches, beach access points, parks, natural areas and youth athletic and play areas.

The smoke-free policy will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2023.

Ahead of the new policy, Sarasota County staff is working to update all park signage and launched a public outreach campaign to educate citizens and visitors on the change. 

“Sarasota County remains committed to providing safe, world-class beaches and park amenities, and improving water quality,” Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) Director Nicole Rissler said in a statement. “This ordinance promotes healthy recreation while reducing second-hand smoke and cigarette-litter that could harm people and wildlife or end up in our waterways.” 

For more information on the smoking ban, visit here or call 311.