Smoking ban goes into effect at Sarasota County beaches Oct. 1

Beachgoers enjoying Lido Key Beach.
Beachgoers enjoying Lido Key Beach.(wwsb)
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:29 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota County Commissioners voted 4 -1 to ban smoking at all county-owned beaches. The ban will also prohibit smoking at beach access points, parks, natural areas and youth athletic and play areas.

Currently staff is working to update all park signage and are launching a public outreach campaign to educate citizens and visitors on the change.

Since 2007, the board has supported the regulation of outdoor smoking and the board’s action on Tuesday follows the state legislation that was enacted in 2022 allowing local counties and municipalities to further regulate smoking within public beaches and parks, excluding unfiltered cigars.

“Sarasota County remains committed to providing safe, world-class beaches and park amenities, and improving water quality,” said Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Director Nicole Rissler. “This ordinance promotes healthy recreation while reducing second-hand smoke and cigarette-litter that could harm people and wildlife or end up in our waterways.”

The ban goes into effect on Oct. 1.