Cocoa Beach moves to ban smoking in public parks

City commission will take up ordinance Thursday

(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File) (Jenny Kane)

COCOA BEACH, Fla. – A ban on smoking in Cocoa Beach’s parks will get its first reading at a city commission meeting Thursday night.

City commissioners will consider an ordinance that will ban smoking in all city parks except for the Ocean Beach, including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and any other lighted tobacco product.

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The ordinance stems from a law passed by the Florida Legislature last year giving local governments the power to regulate vaping and tobacco smoking — with the exception of unfiltered cigars — in public places, such as local beaches and parks.

People caught violating the ordinance would be issued a citation.

Aside from the obvious health issues, the city is concerned that tobacco litter, particularly cigarette butts, can be harmful to animals and the environment. Filters in cigarettes can take up to 10 years to decompose, the city said.

The first reading of the ordinance will take place at the Thursday night city commission meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at Cocoa Beach City Hall.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.