Florida Legislature to debate amendment to Clean Indoor Air Act

A state senator recently introduced an amendment to the Florida Clean Indoor Air Act.

Sen. Rob Bradley proposed amendment CS/SB 258 to the act, which was originally approved in 2002.

The addition to the bill authorizes municipalities and counties to restrict smoking on properties such as beaches, playgrounds, public parks, sports and recreational areas and any paths inside of the above locations.

Seventy-five feet within public entrances and ventilation systems of educational and health care facilities and any other places used for public or government purposes are also included.

Restricted areas must be identified with no smoking signs. Smoking areas must also be designated and marked for smokers as to not infringe on their rights.

However, Tallahassee Community College student Nahjawan Dukes agrees with the proposed amendment.

If its bothering someone, then it could be an issue, Dukes said. Youre not supposed to smoke right under someone. Its just rude. You go to a secluded area away from the crowd and do what you want.

Law enforcement officers will give citations to enforce the new law. Before the citation is written, the violator will be asked to stop smoking and informed of the possible fines. Then the person will be asked to leave. If the person chooses not to, he or she could be fined up to $100 for the first offense and up to $500 on the second.

According to a report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, about 250 of the 7,000 chemical compounds found in cigarette smoke are harmful. And of those, 69 are cancer-causing. Nonsmokers receive sidestream smoke from the lit end of a cigarette.

Sidestream smoke has higher concentrations of cancer-causing agents than mainstream smoke, which is exhaled by a person, according to the American Cancer Association. It also has smaller particles, which make their way into the lungs and the bodys cells more easily.

According to research, secondhand smoke contributes to heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and bronchus. The cost of medical expenses associated with sidestream smoke is more than $10 billion a year.

The purpose of this amendment is to protect people from secondhand smoke.

Yes, I think its right because of the effects of secondhand smoke, FAMU alumna Melissa Daniel said of the proposed amendment. I think people should go to isolated places to smoke.