Clearwater to finalize Smoking and Vaping Ban in beaches and parks

Clearwater City council are slated to vote on the second reading of an ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping at city beaches and parks on Monday afternoon.

During a city council meeting on Friday, the ordinance was unanimously approved.

“I think overall it’s good,” Clearwater resident Kelly Bowland remarked. “It will help to reduce litter and trash, which tend to pile up quickly and easily.”

The decision is in response to a new state law that provides local governments the ability to restrict smoking on their own beaches and parks.

Despite widespread support, the prohibition in Clearwater is not yet finalized, and some residents remain undecided.

“I’m personally not a smoker, and I don’t like receiving other people’s smoke, but at the same time, I don’t want to tell people what to do and what not to do or where to do it. I think it’s their choice, right,” stated Delfino Parra, a Clearwater resident.
Some people are concerned about how the smoking ban will be enforced.

According to the city, the rule is not intended to punish violators but rather to educate them. The purpose is to safeguard public health while also lowering cigarette butts.

“If you can be responsible and put away your cigarette butts where they belong and be considerate of those around you, that’s one thing, but it seems like as a whole, I just see far too many cigarette butts around and get far too many puffs, unwelcome,” Bowland said.

St. Petersburg enacted a similar restriction, which went into force in January.

Pinellas County is set to approve a beach and park ban next month.

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