By Jerry Joseph, Vice Mayor
(Friday, March 3, 2023) – One of my goals as a Sunny Isles Beach Commissioner is to advance smoke free dining throughout our city, though we are on our own regarding state assistance. As the current State Statute regarding indoor smoking stands, restaurants with outdoor seating under cover, fall under the 50% or less open air scenario. This being said, I have been successful at having “No Smoking” signs posted at Matryoshka Deli Food Grocery Store and Buffet, as the store manager was delighted to do so. Since posting the state sponsored signs, their business has only increased, and patrons that I have spoken with are happier for the smoke free eating environment.
Baires Argentinian Grill is another smoke free eating establishment that has adopted a smoke free outdoor covered eating area.
There are some other restaurants that although having “No Smoking” signs posted, still allow for smoking under outdoor covered areas, which falls under the State Statute as indoor space. As a patron and noticing several people smoking, causes me to leave and seek another establishment. It is my hope that through my efforts, these other restaurants will see the benefits that those above have and will join us in creating a healthier environment for all of our dining patrons.
Second hand smoke is a health hazard which is recognized nationwide, and Florida needs to do more in the area of enforcement of its Statute, or allow cities to have more control as the issue is now at our parks and beaches. I am working along with our State Representative, Fabian Basabe to enact Smoke Free Florida legislation which would allow cities the right to regulate smoking within its city limits.