MIAMI BEACH – The Miami Beach City Commission voted Wednesday to ban cigarette smoking and other tobacco products on the city’s public beaches and public parks.
“This presents us with an opportunity to continue leading in our requirements for cleaner beaches and healthier lifestyles,” explained Miami Beach Vice-Mayor Alex Fernandez. “Cigarettes are the wrong type of butts we want on our beaches”
Officials said the new ordinance carries a $100 fine or up to 60 days in jail for the first violation within a 12-month period. The second violation is a $200 fine with possible jail time — and the third violation is a criminal offense.
But not everyone agrees with the ban.
“Cigarettes help me wind down. I’m against it,” says Miami Beach resident Scott Low. “My lease is up in March. I’ll have to move, I have to live in a smokers paradise.”
The ordinance takes effect on Sunday, January 1, 2023.
“Delighted we are finally able to adopt this ban,” added Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “I am weary of the blight of cigarette butts and the secondhand smoke that too often invades our public spaces.”
“At the end of the day, prohibiting smoking on our beaches is in the best interest of everyone, most importantly the environment,” Fernandez added.