State Senators on the Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee acted to uphold Senate Proposed Bill 7012 during a meeting at the Senate Building in Tallahassee, Fla. The meeting came nearly three months after voters approved the amendment initiative, which also could reclassify vaping similar to smoking traditional cigarettes.
Committee Chairman Wilton Simpson, a Republican, said the debate to alter the definition of vaping is “a little bit of an overreach,” and called to keep SPB 7012 “clean” as it moves on to the Senate. He obviously favors the workplace phase of the bill, which is filed for the legislative session beginning March 5.
The bill also would prohibit individuals under 18 years old from engaging in the modern vice.
“The vast majority see the health benefits of stopping smoking, and I think vaping has clearly been a part of that effort,” Simpson said. The bill, however, would permit customers to experience devices at “retail vape shops.”
Similar to laws surrounding tobacco use, vape devices could be brandished at, among other destinations, designated bars, hotel rooms and places managed by membership associations.
The bill also includes language intended to bolster local governing bodies in their tobacco-related enforcement policies.
Matt Jordan, who serves as government relations director for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, said it was about time the state of Florida takes full advantage of its educational resources.
“They are currently unable to use the resources to prevent youth from smoking and to educate youth on e-cigarettes because they are not tobacco products,” Jordan told the News Service of Florida.
“They are only allowed to formally address and prevent tobacco use.”
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