Tom Warnke/The Coastal Star
By Jane Smith
Boynton Beach has created a voluntary smoke-free zone at its Oceanfront Park.
“People will still be able to smoke in designated areas of the park. It’s more of a courtesy thing,” said Mayor Steven Grant. “I want to promote a family-friendly city where respect for others is important.”
The idea came from an unnamed resident, Grant said.
The city’s Parks Department purchased portable ashtrays using a Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful grant, said Colin Groff, an assistant city manager. The ashtrays are given to smokers to use in the parking lot and on the boardwalk. That way, butts might not end up on the ground.
Cigarette filters contain man-made products that take years to break down, according to the PreventCigaretteLitter.org website.
In early May, the city posted three signs about the voluntary program at Oceanfront Park. Each sign cost $10 to make because Boynton Beach has its own sign shop. The signs read: “Breathe freely. Voluntary smoke free zone. Please smoke in parking lot and on boardwalk.” The no-smoking program is voluntary and won’t be enforced, Groff said.
Florida does not have an outdoor clean air act that bans smoking in public spaces, said Groff.