Miami Beach-goers react to new smoking ban (includes video story)

Miami Beach is banning cigarette smoking and other tobacco products at public beaches and parks, citing health and environmental benefits.

The new ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2023, carrying a $100 fine and/or up to 60 days in jail for the first violation in a 12-month period. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recently signed into law House Bill 105, which amended the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act to allow cities and counties to restrict smoking in public parks and beaches.
 
The cigarette butts found on the ground are made up of packed plastic fibers that deteriorate into smaller pieces and accumulate in fish and other animals on the beach.
The ban allows unfiltered cigars and handmade cigarettes in some cuircumstances=.
 
In the North Beach Park area near 79th Street and Collins Avenue, there are remnants of cigarette smoking on the ground. SFMN asked locals for their opinion on the new smoke ban.
 
Some people interviewed were not avid cigarette smokers and were positive about the ban, while others grew accustomed to their smoke break on the beach and were livid about the ban. Most agreed the ban would deliver health benefits and were optimistic about a cleaner Miami Beach recreation area.

Paloma Pimentel is a Junior at FIU majoring in Journalism. She is passionate about writing and hopes to become an investigative environmental journalist one day. She loves to travel and has been to 18 countries so far.

Aquiles Barreto is a Junior Majoring in Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communications, with a concentration in broadcasting. He has a passion for all types of visual media, whether it be film, television, or news. In the future he hopes to be a video editor for major productions.