TALLAHASSE, Fla. (News Service of Florida) - The American Heart Association is asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to veto a bill (SB 1080) that would preempt local regulations aimed at ensuring vaping and tobacco products aren’t sold to underage smokers.
“Florida high school students are using e-cigarettes, which demonstrates the need for policies to protect youth from tobacco and nicotine. The addiction to nicotine has a direct correlation to smoking and thus smoking-related illness, including heart disease,” American Heart Association Florida Government Relations Director Tiffany McCaskill Henderson wrote in a letter Thursday to DeSantis. “This bill would give the tobacco industry free (rein) to market and advertise these harmful products to our youth.”
Sponsored by Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, the bill also would raise the state’s age for legal use of tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21, which would track federal law. However, the state would deviate from the federal law by exempting people in the military and, therefore, violate federal law, Henderson wrote in the letter.
The House passed the bill Wednesday by a 103-13 vote. The Senate passed the bill two days earlier by 29-9 vote.