SB 342, which would authorize local governments to further restrict smoking on certain county or municipal property, passed unanimously in Senate Regulated Industries on Thursday, January 9.  While state law currently prevents counties and cities from regulating outdoor smoking on their property, SB 342 seeks to grant local governments the ability to restrict smoking on city or county owned playground areas.  Pursuant to the bill, playground areas refer to independent areas that are designed solely for children and contain at least on playground structure.  

“No smoking” signs would be required in areas with smoking restrictions.  Additionally, an officer enforcing an ordinance violation would be required to advise a violator of the penalties and request that he or she stop smoking on the premises before issuing a citation, not to exceed $100 for a first violation and $500 for subsequent offenses.  Although the bill gained support from all committee members, Sens. Gibson and Detert suggested that certain portions of the bill, including the definitions of “playground” and “playground areas,” be more clearly defined.  FAC supports Sen. Bradley’s efforts and is also working to have the bill’s house companion, HB 309 by Rep. Edwards, placed on the House Health Quality Subcommittee agenda in February.  For more information, please contact Susan Harbin.