ALABAMA HAS 52 MILES OF BEACHES THAT FUEL A SIG­NIF­I­CANT CHUNK OF ITS $14.3 BIL­LION TOURISM IN­DUS­TRY.

The Sun Herald - - News -

Beach and Gulf Shores have ju­ris­dic­tion over the most pop­u­lar pub­lic beach spots that fuel a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of Alabama’s $14.3 bil­lion tourism in­dus­try.

The smoke-free pub­lic beach in Alabama is part of an or­di­nance that also bans pets, fire­works, al­co­holic bev­er­ages, open fires, drones, and laser point­ers. The or­di­nance makes ex­cep­tions for ser­vice an­i­mals.

Brown said en­force­ment is not rig­or­ous but fines are stiff. Vi­o­la­tors could face fines of up to $500 and jail time. The Gulf Shores or­di­nance rep­re­sented the first time an Alabama gov­ern­ing body adopted a smok­ing ban to also in­clude e-cig­a­rettes, any­where along a beach­front.

A Florida law­maker in­tro­duced a bill this week that would crim­i­nal­ize smok­ing on pub­lic beaches, levy­ing $25 fines on of­fend­ers or up to 10 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice. Alabama beach cities are keep­ing an eye on the Florida mea­sure, with an in­ter­est in pos­si­bly fol­low­ing suit. Florida has had a statewide in­door smok­ing ban in place 2003, al­though bars are exempt.

“We’ll be cu­ri­ous to see how Florida pro­ceeds,” said Phillip West, coastal re­source di­rec­tor for Orange Beach. “If it passes, we’ll be in­ter­ested in how they en­force it and what kind of push back they might get.”

“I am aware of what’s be­ing pur­sued in Florida and (a beach smok­ing ban) has come up be­fore in the past. But there have been no heavy con­ver­sa­tions about it,” said Dauphin Is­land Mayor Jeff Col­lier.

In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, both cities

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