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Lawsuit Challenges Smoking Ban

The Gulfport City Council will meet to discuss a lawsuit filed by St. Petersburg attorney Andy Strickland regarding the ticket he received for smoking on the beach.

St. Petersburg attorney Andy Strickland filed a lawsuit against the City of Gulfport regarding a citation he received for smoking on the beach on April 21.

Strickland did not provide any further details about the case. Strickland told Patch, in a previous story, that he wanted to challenge the ban in court.

O'Reilly confirmed, with Patch, that the litigation is regarding a ticket Strickland received for smoking on the beach.

On Tuesday, June 19, the Gulfport City Council, City Manager and City Attorney will discuss the case during a "shade meeting" at 4:30 p.m. at Gulfport City Hall. The meeting is not public.

According to the agenda, the case is titled: Andy G. Strickland, Petitioner, vs. the City of Gulfport, Florida, a Municipal Corporation, and the State of Florida, Respondents, Case No. 12-4167-CO-40

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About "Shade" Meetings

A closed attorney-client meeting is permitted under Fla. Stat. s. 286.011(8):

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), any board or commission of any state agency or authority or any agency or authority of any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision, and the chief administrative or executive officer of the governmental entity, may meet in private with the entity’s attorney to discuss pending litigation to which the entity is presently a party before a court or administrative agency, provided that the following conditions are met:

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Andy Strickland has been trying to challenge the smoking ban for the past six months.

He deliberatly lit up a cigar on Gulfport Beach three times in order to receive a citation. Strickland first held a "smoke in" in January but was not cited due to the lack of proper signage of the new ordinance. In February he was cited, but the charges were dropped by the city. Then, in April, Strickland, joined by several supporters, was ticketed for smoking a cigar on the beach.

Strickland told Patch that he believes that the ban is illegal and unconstitutional.

According to a Florida Statute, the regulation of smoking is up to the state, not local governments, he said.

Florida Statute 386.209

Regulation of smoking preempted to state. This part expressly preempts regulation of smoking to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance on the subject; however, school districts may further restrict smoking by persons on school district property.

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About the Ordinance:

Gulfport City Council voted 5-0 to pass a smoking ban on the beach, athletic fields and facilities and playgrounds in the city on Tuesday, November 1, 2011.

The ban affects the following locations in Gulfport:

The ban does not affect:

CJ June 20, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I think it is safe advice to never hire a ''chest surgeon'' to work on you if he is against smoking bans. A surgeon like that sounds more like someone trying to teach a duck to make his first sound. Reminds me of the ''doctor'' in Cannonball Run with Burt Reynolds and Dom Delouis (sp).
CJ June 20, 2012 at 07:21 PM
''Dr Madden'' sounds like one of those doctors who passed college with a D- and bought thier degree online for $249.99 using a coupon.
Dave Copeland June 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM
CJ, have you always been so gullable? You're a perfect example of someone who's been brainwashed by the zealots at tobacco control. Ridiculing Dr Madden because you're blind to the truth is quite sad really. "There are about a hundred studies on the issue of passive smoking. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low. Professor Philippe Even, World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, now retired.
Dave Copeland June 20, 2012 at 10:33 PM
CJ, I think we're maybe being a little too technical for you, what, with quoting doctors and scientists and all. Maybe Penn and Teller..."Second Hand Smoke Bull5hit" is more to your liking! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6WITuzkS_g
skycat June 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM
CJ: I have seen many businesses and smokers and like-minded individuals whose only desire is to be let alone, presumably to deal with their own filth, stench, stains, burns, etc., prevented from doing so by anti-smoking activists themselves. It is ban activists who constantly interfere with smokers willing to gather elsewhere, by intervening as protectors of innocent adult bar patrons and job seekers, even if it prevents smokers from getting jobs where there might be smoke. It is ban activists who are now attempting to restrict smoking in some smokers' own apartments which will no doubt drive them somewhere else to become targeted again by anti-smokers. They even want to ban e-cigarettes which leave no litter. Smoking ban activists have lost credibility in my book because no matter what solutions the smokers propose, the activists are there, or just around the corner, with a roadblock.
CJ June 21, 2012 at 02:13 AM
skycat...did you read ''anything'' I wrote to you? I have followed this story locally here in Gulfport for many months and remember when and why the subject of the bans at some of the public places was brought up. ''Litter''. I explained that to you...but I guess you are just to stubborn to bend. Smokers have made thier own bed. If smokers would ''police fellow smokers''...and jump thier bones when they are being obnoxoious...then maybe smokers might have been able to keep on keeping on as they have. The problem is..smokers all have each other's back , and that get them nowhere. Sure, there is a smoker here or there that is sensible about thier habit..there just is not enough of them. ''Apartments''...bad example. Rental property would be another bad example. I agree that in a home you ''own'' (free and clear...not financed)..then that would be a good example where you should have these rights you mention. I agree with that...but your fire insurance should cost you ten times as much as mine does.
john davidson June 21, 2012 at 03:02 AM
We can only imagine what bribes and deals were made to get VIETNAM to pass a smoking ban nationwide! Like maybe most favored nation status in trade agrrements like china! Or perhaps they were guaranteed loans to shore up their currency too as the WHO has promised those countries that invoked a smoking ban in the FCTC treaty...
john davidson June 21, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Ya thats it gotta be,as all the states defund tobacco control at all levels and take away all the MSA funds.............ya they really want to outlaw tobacco products. BTW what revenue did tobacco control ever generate for the state coffers.........answer NOTHING BUT A BIG FAT BILL FOR THEIR EXISTENCE!
CJ June 21, 2012 at 03:29 AM
...oh come on, Dave..you can go ahead and let this doctor open your chest off...but I'd rather take my chances on one I could throw a dart and see which one in the phone book it lands on. You sound like someone who needs a better health care policy.
Faun Weaver June 21, 2012 at 03:34 AM
So now being against the smoking ban means we don't support Vietnam Vets? Really? Look, it's a littering issue that could actually be a revenue source for the city. I'm one of those smokers who will call someone out, forcefully, if I see them toss their butt on the ground. If they actually recieved more than my shrill voice, oh, say, a ticket!!?? What would happen then? Hit someone in the wallet and they are going to reconsider their action. Stop using SHS as a reason to do a ban in a wide open area where no one is being harmed, except perhaps the smoker. It's bigotry cloaked in political correctness. And no, if I'm on the beach having a cig, it truly does not effect you. Unless you live in Vietnam.
CJ June 21, 2012 at 03:38 AM
...don't know about Penn and Taylor..but the Dick Van Dyke ''Cold Turkey'' was funny..and well within my ''technical understanding'' of how nasty smokers are. By the way...just so you know..''shielded cursing'' will get your comment deleted here. I am not a fan of censorship and like to see what people write, so I'm just telling you so you don't get any comments of yours deleted. I have learned this the hard way also. I may not agree with you, but you are not on my list of people that I don't like to the comments of. We all ''know'' who that person is..it's just hard to keep track of what name he is using. Are you his twin brother?
skycat June 21, 2012 at 01:27 PM
CJ: If it is a litter issue, why not just jack up the fine for cig litter? But wait, didn't this whole issue start over a guy smoking a cigar? Since cigars don't have filters and are fully biodegradable, I presume you are willing to allow those. Maybe when I get back from my lobotomy appointment I'll be able to believe that it's just a coincidence that the litter issue fits in perfectly with the objectives of the smoking ban movement.
CJ June 21, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Skycat, you wrote''..didn't this all start ove a guy smoking a cigar?'' No..it didn't...at least not locally here in Gulfport. All over the country the smoking bans ''start'' for a variety of initial reasons..but it is common for the litter connection to initiate it. A while back, I belive after a 49th St. litter clean-up volunteer group effort here in Gulfport, some of the volunteers could not help note the tremendous percent of cig litter compared to other litter. It was brought up at a council meeting. From there, it took on a life of it's own...and the beach smoking bans, etc were part of the result. In other localities, the bans additionally start simply over second hand smoke issues, and a multitude of other reasons. A smoker here, and a smoker there can step in and ''say'' or write in blogs how ''they call other smokers out for bad cig manners''...but frankly...I've never seen that. Honestly, it seems the only time a cig smoker uses an ashtray (like that makes it's all OK) is if other people are around. Otherwise, they just flick them away on the ground, put them out in planters, grind them dead on wooden railings, etc, etc, etc. Who are they fooling? Without a doubt, most smokers simply can't figure out a way to smoke in public without it being a burden of some sort on somebody else. Cleaning up after a smoker is about as much fun as picking up dog poop after other peoples dogs. Skip the operation to find out if smoking and litter is connected. It is.
Dave Copeland June 21, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Litter!!!!....hahaha don't make me laugh! My oh my, you are getting desperate to come up with such a pathetic excuse. Cigarette litter is miniscule and regardless of what the tobacco control zealots tell you, it doesn't cost anything to clear up, as it just gets swept up with the rest of the litter in the streetcleaners sweep. Taking your argument to the next, obvious stage, do you also advocate an outdoor ban on McDonalds, sodas, newspapers etc, which produce FAR MORE litter?
Scott Ewing June 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Shills such as CJ should not be worried about the cigarette in my left hand. He should be more concered about my right about to impact his facist face!
Dave Copeland June 21, 2012 at 08:16 PM
The 1993 EPA study into the dangers of enviromental tobacco smoke, is the sole reason why the American Cancer Society, The American Lung Foundation and The Americn Heart Foundation have been so vociferous against ETS. It's an absolute disgrace that the anti-smoking bandwagon has just kept on rolling, totally disregarding the U S District Court's decision that "The EPA's procedural failure constitutes a violation of the law" "....the EPA 'cherry picked' its data" "EPA deviated from acceptable scientific procedure...to ensure a PRE-ORDAINED OUTCOME" The courtcase makes for fascinating reading. http://archive.tobacco.org/Documents/980717osteen.html
CJ June 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM
There was a time when I smoked and chewed, and like the ''country boy'' I am that ''can survive''...I would have ''spit some beechnut'' ...right in your eyes just for thinking that thought. There are few who would have much of a chance to use your right hand as you state. Good way to get it broke. Big talk, ''Scott Ewing''. Your comment is out of line. Seems you need to learn more than just some smoking manners. I like to try and stay within The Patch blog rules, out of resepct to Cherlene, but you have crossed a line that even ''John'' would not do..and we all know how low he can go. I am above commenting back to you as I'd really like to right now...but I doubt ''either'' of our comments will be here much longer and will be deleted. You are your own worse enemy, and you certainly do not help others who agree with your cause. Making comments like you have just done are simply those of a thinned skin coward. Get off the porch and go jump in a lake....and hope your never let me see your right hand coming.
CJ June 24, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Shill? I am new to the area and only trying to fit in somewhere. I was unaware of what a ''shill' was. I thought it was another new Florida thing I had not learned about yet. I looked it up. I assure you, I am not shill. I live here and I do have strong opinons, though. I also hate bullies like ''John''. People here in this blog topic, that keep appearing out of nowhere, that stike me as a ''shill'' are ''John...whatever he goes by''. If I ''was'' a shill..then I could understand your anger with me..because I don't like a shill either. You may not be aware how many Gulfport Patch blogs on this topic that ''John'' has ruined. Often resulting in comments getting deleted and generally stirring up anger abut things he has no real inteest in. He does not live here. Ironically, he may even be a paid blogger who does not smoke and is only here for his paycheck. Maybe you don't know that. What I do know about you, though, is that you have stated you are a sucker puncher. A person who does that is as low as they can get and not what I define as a man. I prefer ''John's'' presence here more than a dbag like you. These blogs here used to be more fun, but due to past bad history on this topic and the trouble ''John'' has stirred up..many of ''the regulars'' have bowed out making comments anymore. Personally, I am still in the fight because of how strongly I deplore people like ''John'', and you. Without the support of the usual crowd here, though, I am wearing down.
kristy peddy June 25, 2012 at 03:26 AM
I'd rather see someone at the beach smoke a cigar than one of those people with fat literally hanging off their scooter as they run people over at the grocery store getting more &^%$ to stuff their faces with.
kristy peddy June 25, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Great example. A country who is so known for their diplomacy and civil liberties. You just stated that almost 50% of the adult smoked. So who voted? Exactly. No one.
Kevin Mulvina July 24, 2012 at 01:10 PM
There is absolutely no legitimate science to promote the notion that smoking outdoors can increase anyone's health risk any more than the existence of pollen or the permissible levels of particulate matter in the air. So this promotion required irresponsible fear mongering on behalf of Government by Hires paid for with the taxes that belong to the people. The promotions of hatred, fear, ignorance and essentially all invoked to incite intolerance. Which is bad enough when carried out by terrorist organizations and special interests to manipulate supply and demand when selling smoking alternative snake oils. When the Government takes a shot at any promotion of it's own authority, we all loose. Regardless if you don't like the smell it is temporary. These taking or your rights and freedoms are permanent and will be used to exhibit an authority to do it again, Be careful what you wish for, because as you can see health-scare provides all the dominant power of "protection" any cowardly politician or sociopath will ever need, Smokers are getting it now, and you will be the target soon enough. Intolerance is easy enough to understand, it is not a bandwagon we should ride, for any reason. Far more dangerous than smoking.
Kevin Mulvina July 24, 2012 at 01:25 PM
There are still a lot of well trained people with guns and know how, who in the vast majority love their American cigarettes. So who is going to do the enforcement? The Special Interests hypochondriacs and loonies who promoted the ban? Perhaps the Government Sock Puppets who infect public discussions with their glad handing of government encroachments with disrespectful attitudes against anyone who isn't sold? We can only hope.
Kevin Mulvina July 24, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Cigarette taxes are collected under the claim that they compensate the cost to communities, attributable to smoking. A fallacy that is in essence passing the buck for government incompetence. Cigarettes are believed safe enough to be sold, otherwise Governments wouldn't allow them to be sold. If it is only recently that Governments realized that smoking cigarettes results in leftover smoke another question arises in the claim that we are being protected by competent people. Hitler said many years ago that involuntary smoking carries a health risk and today politicians have decided to side with his wisdom by empowerment of smoking bans, he imposed with the sane talking points and logic we see today. So if all that they are telling us is true and they believe that smoking bans contribute to public safety and a significant reduction of health costs. Are the smokers not now owed a reduction in cigarette taxes equal to the amounts of savings promised in order to promote those bans?
Kevin Mulvina July 24, 2012 at 01:52 PM
continued... It is not a matter of diving up other peoples money to benefit non smokers, this is the legal obligation of any community who employs smoking bans, to take less in exchange for improved levels of protection afforded by their intolerance of what is described as an addiction. You wouldn't make disabled people pay a premium for their special parking spots. So why are you now charging smokers for a benefit to the comfort of the non smoking majority? Or is that the point? The majority now has the right to steal from minorities and people with medical conditions, by calling it a nasty habit or any other excuse that comes to mind. A rose is a rose is a rose, by any other name still a rose and this is theft, by taxation without representation? Sin taxes are an exercise of self important insanity. Lets let those who disagree throw the first stone. The Emperor has no clothes.
Kevin Mulvina July 24, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Anyone who would like the anti-smoker zealots sat down in a garage for the next 20 minutes with the car running, or in the same garage with 100 people smoking all day long, according to their own preference, by all means raise your hands. You wouldn't really want to see them harmed regardless of what they believe or say they believe, now would you? Next time you see a woman sitting with their infant children at a bus or train station, think about that will you. Funny she would seat them away from the smoking section, within a false sense of security, in line with her largely popular beliefs.
Kevin Mulvina July 24, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Cincinnati actually built a non smoking stadium with other people's money, primarily to serve the interests of a private for profit entity known as MLB. In California they borrowed against the future MSA payments they anticipated they would receive by the deal they cooked up with Big tobacco and today their credit potential has lost value and their rating has been downgraded because their asset is over valued. Blame the black market if you like however when the Government imposes their own agenda to an unreasonable degree, it is only human nature you will create opposition and eventually as that opposition grows face the wrath of a people being treated with less respect than they are due. At the end of the second world war people were actually pretending to smoke in defiance of Hitler. With the resounding phrase; "we only have to fear, fear itself" A tip for anyone tempted to jump on board the health-scare network, that will be targeting many of our activities in the near future. The World Health Organization has actually amassed hundreds of Public Health campaigns, ready for the nod to proceed. So what sins are you enjoying that the government and the special interests can turn into a fast buck? Our strength has always been our unity as a strong and inclusive community, don't let the opportunists mislead that unity, as a risk to you, when it legitimately represents a risk to themselves. "A risk to Public Health" [the massive for profit drug cartel]
Kevin Mulvina July 24, 2012 at 03:45 PM
So Lynda, have I exceeded your boredom level yet? How would you prescribe that I should be punished, for relaying the truths of the situation, that clearly only stand as a threat, if they make your personal lifestyle choices and opinions, awkward or inconvenient? As entitlement for a hypocrite.
mtober August 15, 2012 at 02:57 AM
I see that Mr. Strickland's lawsuit was dismissed. As I recall and please correct me if I am wrong, the case was filed in the wrong court, served on the wrong person and the time given for response was incorrect. Does anyone know if Mr. Strickland plan to refile the lawsuit properly? Just curious. Thanks.
William Smith August 24, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Lawsuit was not dismissed. Call Gulfport Attorney Salzman for the details.
William Smith August 24, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Just lawyer games being paid by Gulfport tax money to defend this needless anti-smoking crusade.

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