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BoCC Bans Smoking and Vaping at Active Public Parks

Published: November 7, 2023

BARTOW, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2023) – The Polk County Board of County Commissioners adopted an ordinance today authorizing the County Manager to prohibit smoking and vaping in public parks in unincorporated Polk County. Based on the Board’s direction, the initial focus will be on prohibiting smoking and vaping in active parks, such as playgrounds and sports complexes that serve youth sports programs.

The ordinance will become effective upon filing with the Secretary of State’s Office. Parks will have signage informing the public of the no smoking/vaping policy. Individuals who violate the ordinance may be asked to vacate the premises.

This ordinance originated with the youth-led advocacy group Polk Students Against Tobacco. SWAT members had previously approached the Board and requested action to cut down on tobacco’s harmful effects in public areas.

The Board adopted the ordinance by a 5-0 vote.

“It’s very encouraging whenever young people get involved,” said Commissioner George Lindsey, “especially when it results in a positive action like this.”

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