Winter Park to become latest city to ban smoking and vaping at parks
The state lifted a law last year that prohibited local governments from making their own rules when it comes to smoking
Nov. 3, 2023
By Beth Kassab
In recent years cities and counties have become accustomed to the Florida Legislature taking away local authority on everything from gun safety to policies on climate change and rent control.
The slew of pre-emption statues out of Tallahassee prohibit local governments from crafting their own solutions to a number of issues that included, until recently, bans on smoking and vaping in public parks.
In 2022, the Legislature repealed that pre-emption and Winter Park is poised to become the latest city to enact its own ban as a result.
The City Commission will on Wednesday consider a new ordinance to ban smoking and vaping in public parks, beaches and recreation facilities.
The purpose of the ban is to provide a more pleasant experience for people using the parks and “to ensure the safety and health of park guests from the hazards of second-hand smoke,” according to a staff memo.
About two dozen cities across Florida have adopted similar ordinances.
The cost of the change is expected to be minimal, according to city staff, with “No Smoking” signs among the biggest expense.