Sarasota City Commission starts to discuss ways to implement new vaping laws

Sarasota City Commissioners Discuss Vaping Ordinance

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Monday, City of Sarasota Commissioners were set to discuss a potential vaping ban within city limits, but the new ban at the federal level changed the conversation.

Now commissioners are looking into how to enforce the new laws.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just announced that under a new FDA rule, vape companies will now only be allowed to sell two flavors of vaping cartridges: tobacco and menthol. They have 30 days to stop manufacturing and distributing other flavored cartridges.

But this ban just applies to flavored cartridges, not devices that use tank systems sold in vape shops.

Venice’s former Mayor John Holic is the one who urged the City of Sarasota to get ahead of this new law and put this item on their agenda. He said he didn’t want Sarasota County or its cities to wait for the bills to become effective at the federal level and believes local government should move forward now to protect youth from further deaths and traumatic injuries.

While the mayor of Sarasota agreed, she said the new FDA rules are now sufficient. But the next step will be to determine a way to enforce them.

“Everybody who would sell tobacco would have to register with the City and then that fee, the nominal fee would be used to further enforce to make sure that minors were not purchasing tobacco under the age of 18,” explained Sarasota Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch.

She said the city attorney and Sarasota Police Department will need to discuss those vaping business registrations.

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