A Voice for Our Ocean

ADVISORY: Miami Beach Mayor, Commissioners and Ocean Conservancy News Conference on New Smoking Ban

Giant cigarette butt sculptures will be temporarily placed in the sand to educate the public about smoking ban that officially became law this month.

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Giant Cigarette Butts-10 (1)
Giant cigarette butts on Lido beach Florida at an Ocean Conservancy news conference announcing the smoking ban bill in January 2022. © Ocean Conservancy / Karen Pinkston

MIAMI BEACH — Just ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, Miami Beach city leaders and the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy are making a statement, so beach goers will pay attention to the new law that bans smoking on beaches and parks in Miami Beach.

Giant cigarette butt sculptures will be temporarily placed in the sand during a news conference this Friday, for a dramatic photo opp aiming to educate the public about the new smoking ban that officially became law this month.

“As we start 2023, we want people to take note that cigarettes have no place on our beaches. Ocean Conservancy advocated strongly for this very important law, and we are thrilled to see Miami Beach take this significant and proactive step to protect our environment,” said Jon Paul “J.P.” Brooker, director of Florida Conservation at Ocean Conservancy.

WHAT: Miami Beach Bans Smoking on Beaches, News Conference to Educate Public on Impact & Enforcement

WHEN: Friday Jan. 13 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: North Beach Bandshell (map here)


  • J.P. Brooker, Florida Director of Conservation for Ocean Conservancy
  • Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber
  • Miami Beach Commissioner Alex Fernandez
  • Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzales

Several cities throughout Florida are now taking action to ban smoking on beaches from Sarasota to Jacksonville to Miami Beach. This comes after the Florida Legislature passed a law last year, which allows municipalities to vote to enact their own local bans.

For more than 30 years, cigarette butts have been among the most commonly found items on Florida beaches during Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup. Over the last five years, cigarette butts have been among the top three items collected – totaling more than 32,000 – in Miami Beach alone.

The butts are made of tightly packed plastic fibers that erode into smaller bits, which accumulate in fish and other organisms. This can impact animal health.


About Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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