February 7, 2023

DeSantis signs bill aimed at preventing youth vaping

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill that will regulate the sale of electronic cigarettes.

The law will create a state regulatory framework for the sale of electronic cigarettes. Among other things, the bill (SB 1080), which will take effect Oct. 1, also will raise the state’s legal age to vape and smoke tobacco to 21, a threshold already established in federal law.

House sponsor Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, said before the bill passed that it is aimed at preventing minors from using electronic cigarettes.

“This bill is necessary to stop youth vaping,” Toledo said.

But it drew opposition from prominent health groups, in part because it will prevent local regulations on such things as the marketing and sale of vaping products and tobacco. Earlier Friday, groups including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association issued a statement urging DeSantis to veto the bill.

“By blocking the power of elected officials at the local level to protect kids --- and failing to take any meaningful action at the state level --- we risk another generation addicted to deadly tobacco products and the illness and premature death that come as a result,” the statement said.

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