An initiative to prohibit smoking on public beaches and municipal parks is being introduced by a Miami Beach commissioner.
Commissioner Alex Fernandez said that by outlawing nicotine and cigarette smoking, it will protect the environment and promote public health.
The most famous beaches in the world are here, according to Fernandez. “It’s our duty to keep them secure, healthy, and spotless,” the speaker said.
If approved, the maximum penalty for breaking the law would be a $500 fine and up to 60 days in prison. The prohibition does not apply to cigars without filters.
In addition to the 7,000 contaminants found in tobacco, Fernandez said, “when we talk about smoking on the beaches, we’re also speaking of microplastic that is not compatible with the environment.”
The proposal has received preliminary approval and will be put to a vote at a public hearing on Wednesday.
Two commissioners oppose the prohibition, including Ricky Arriola.
If the issue is trash, Arriola suggested that we completely ban beach picnics. There are items like cups, straws, plates, paper, and plastic that cannot decompose.
The idea follows the passage of a legislation allowing local governments to control smoking on public beaches and in municipal parks, which was signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.
According to Arriola, the prohibition creates a problem that doesn’t really exist.
“People shouldn’t smoke, first and foremost. Stop smoking if you do “said he. “And if you’re considering smoking, resist the urge. I’m not advocating for smoking. You should avoid that, but my problem is with the law. Why are we passing more hard-to-enforce laws for the sake of legislation?”
A final draft of a comparable prohibition is being prepared for presentation at the next municipal meeting in Fort Lauderdale.