Winter Park became the 25th Florida city to ban smoking and vaping in public parks, beaches and leisure areas. However, in Winter Park, premium cigars are not prohibited.
The ordinance, which passed its first reading at the Nov. 8 city meeting, follows the revision of Florida statute 386.209, according to media reports.
The statute originally placed smoking regulations in the hands of the state legislature but in 2022, at the request of several cities including Winter Park, the statute was changed to allow local enforcement of smoking restrictions in parks, beaches, and other outdoor leisure areas.
The specific areas affected by the ban are parks and outdoor venues owned or operated by the city. The state’s revision of statute 386.209 includes the following:
Counties and municipalities may further restrict smoking within the boundaries of any public beaches and public parks that they own, except that they may not further restrict the smoking of unfiltered cigars. A municipality may further restrict smoking within the boundaries of public beaches and public parks that are within its jurisdiction but are owned by the county, unless such restriction conflicts with a county ordinance, except that they may not further restrict the smoking of unfiltered cigars.
A representative from the City of Winter Park told local media that “as it relates to cigars, we are following the language from the state statute.” Questions directed to the state regarding the statute have not yet been answered.