Last week, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County voted in favor of supporting House Bill 627 and Senate Bill 562 (HB 627 / SB 562) and asked the entire Broward County delegation to the Florida Legislature to co-sponsor and vote for this recently filed legislation.
HB 627 / SB 562 are identical bills, which would give counties and municipalities the choice to further restrict smoking within the boundaries of any public parks and playgrounds they own. Under current Florida law it is legal to smoke in all public parks without exception.
“The Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County fully supports this legislation and encourages all Florida voters to contact their legislator to voice their support” said Dr. Don Torok, chairperson of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County.
One in four children in Florida report being exposed to involuntary secondhand smoke while playing in parks according to a study by the Florida Department of Health. HB 627 / SB 562 would let municipalities and counties protect children from involuntary secondhand smoke while playing in parks.
Benefits of tobacco-free outdoor recreational areas are numerous. Health benefits include protection from harmful secondhand smoke exposure, protection of young children from toxic cigarette butts and other tobacco litter, and positive role modeling for youth. Benefits to the environment include reduced tobacco litter, and reduced risk of fire. Cleanup costs related to tobacco litter removal consumes a substantial amount of tax dollars.
About the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County:
The mission of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Broward County (TFP) is to prevent or reduce the health risks associated with tobacco use through community education. The TFP meets the third Thursday of every month at 8:00 AM in the Tobacco Prevention Education Center located at the Florida Department of Health in Broward County, 780 SW 24th Street, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315.