West Miami-Dade

Sweetwater moves to ban smoking in city vehicles

Sweetwater has tentatively approved a law prohibiting city employees from smoking in city vehicles.

The City Commission approved the ordinance, proposed by Commissioner Orlando Lopez, on first reading last week. He said the rule needed to be enforced.

“Other levels of government currently implement the same policy, considering all vehicles an extension of a government building and thus enforcing the same zero tolerance for smoking in vehicles,” he wrote in an email.

Lopez added that some employees now smoke in their assigned vehicles.

The ordinance also calls for penalties if employees are caught smoking, but enforcement is left up to interim Mayor Jose Diaz’s discretion.

“Along with the fact that all city buildings and parks are smoke-free, so are vehicles,” Lopez said. “As an employee, you would not want to drive a vehicle after it was driven by a smoker. Driving a vehicle after a person that habitually smokes in a city vehicle could adversely affect someone’s health and I am not condoning it.”