The governor of Florida is expected to sign a bill that would ban local communities from enacting laws regulating e-cigarettes. The Florida House on Wednesday gave its final approval with a 103-13 and sent the bill (SB 1080) to Governor Rick DeSantis for a signature. The bill passed the Senate on Monday.
House sponsor Jackie Toledo told the Tallahassee Democrat that the bill is aimed at preventing minors from using electronic cigarettes. “This bill is necessary to stop youth vaping,” Toledo said.
The bill would raises the state’s legal age to smoke and vape to 21, a threshold already established in federal law. It also would create a state regulatory framework for the sale of vapor products. The bill would ban vaping or smoking tobacco within 1,000 feet of a school and makes it illegal for local communities to create any regulations impacting the “marketing, sale, or delivery of, tobacco products.” It would also require retailers to obtain a “tobacco” permit.
“Years of continued inaction by the state to regulate tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, demands strong, local laws that truly protect our children from a lifetime of addiction,” the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said in a statement this week. “Florida kids deserve effective protections, not to be left even more vulnerable to the industry and its predatory practices. And our localities have the right, freedom and responsibility to protect them, especially when the state won’t.”
Backers of the proposals, however, have said they would help with enforcement of tobacco and vaping laws and that preemption of local regulations is needed because retailers could have multiple stores in different areas, which would make it hard to follow varying regulations and do business.