Last week, the Clearwater City Council approved a new ordinance that bans smoking and vaping at city-owned parks and beaches except for cigars.

In a victory for cigar smokers, the law will allow for “unfiltered cigars” to continue to be smoked at public beaches and parks. The law is written as follows:

No person shall use, consume, inhale, exhale, or burn any (i) electronic cigarette, as defined in Chapter 22.21 of this Code, or (ii) lighted tobacco product, including cigarettes, pipe tobacco, and any other lighted tobacco product with the exception of unfiltered cigars, in or on public beaches and public parks owned or controlled by the City.

The ordinance also seems to give an exemption for city-sponsored events. Those caught violating the new law will be subject to a $50 fine with $10 in court fees. It went into effect immediately after passing.

Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 105 into law, allowing Florida cities and municipalities to ban smoking at public parks and beaches. Previously, state law prevented local governments from passing stricter smoking laws for beaches and parks. Since then, many local governments have introduced bans of their own.

Clearwater is located in Pinellas County, about 15 miles north of St. Petersburg and 15 miles west of Tampa. It has a population of around 120,000 residents.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.