The Hallandale Beach City Commission is considering an ordinance that would make smoking illegal on the city's public beaches. "There are obviously anti-littering laws, but it's easy to just stick a cigarette in the sand," says Commissioner Keith London, who proposed a feasibility study for an ordinance after learning that cigarette butts accounted for 46 percent of the trash plucked from the beach during cleanups.
Preliminary inquiries show that the city might have to defer to state officials on matters related to smoking legislation. And if this month's budget talks proved anything, it's that state legislators lend a sympathetic ear to tobacco lobbyists, who managed to short-circuit increased taxes on their products. It also might explain why other South Florida cities have been slow to ban smoking on their beaches — London believes Hallandale would be the first in the state to do so.