MIAMI BEACH – The Miami Beach City Commission voted Wednesday to ban smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products on the city’s public beaches and parks.
“This gives us the opportunity to continue to lead the way in our demands for cleaner beaches and healthier lifestyles,” said Alex Fernandez, Vice Mayor of Miami Beach. “Cigarettes are the wrong kind of butts we want on our beaches”
Officials said the new ordinance includes 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 relax. I’m against them,” said Miami Beach resident Scott Low. “My lease expires in March. I have to move, I have to live in a smoking paradise.”
The regulation will enter into force on Sunday, January 1, 2023.
“We are excited to finally approve this ban,” added Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber. “I’m tired of the scourge of cigarette butts and the passive smoke that all too often invades our public spaces.”
“Ultimately, banning smoking on our beaches is in the best interest of everyone, especially the environment,” Fernandez added.