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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A House panel Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a proposal that would allow local governments to restrict smoking on beaches and in public parks.

Bill sponsor Randy Fine, R-Brevard County, said cities and counties should be able to make decisions about whether people can smoke on a “jungle gym, in the dugout, on the seesaw” at parks.

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Also, supporters pointed to pollution from cigarette butts on beaches. Under current law, the state controls regulation of smoking throughout Florida.

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The bill (HB 105) would allow cities and counties to regulate it at beaches and parks that they own. The House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee voted 17-1 to approve the bill, with Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, casting the dissenting vote. A Senate version (SB 224) has been approved by one committee.

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