State Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Indialantic, has filed a bill to crack down on minors using e-cigarettes.
This week, Mayfield proposed to “amend the retail definition of Tobacco Products in Florida Statute to include all recreational nicotine products, including electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine” and noted that many retailers do not have to comply with the same regulations that tobacco sellers do. “This bill will require the same accountability, allowing law enforcement to verify that the retail businesses are only selling tobacco products to patrons that are 18 years of age and older,” Mayfield’s office noted. The bill also eliminates flavored e-cigarettes.
“Vaping and e-cigarette use among kids has reached epidemic levels,” said Mayfield. “Vaping companies are targeting our youth by using flavors like cotton candy, mango and gummy bear. Now is the time to take action to protect kids from becoming addicted to nicotine.”
Mayfield pointed to last year’s Florida Youth Tobacco Survey which showed that more than a third of high school students in the Sunshine State have used e-cigarettes and almost one in four currently use them.
“Senate Bill 694 will make a big difference in the youth vaping epidemic”, said Dr. Barry Hummel, a pediatrician and one of the founders of the QuitDoc Foundation. “The bill will eliminate a loophole that allows unlicensed vape shops to operate without oversight, which increases the chances of illegal sales to underage minors. The bill will also remove all flavors from e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Historically, flavors have been used by the tobacco industry to create products that entice youth, leading to lifelong nicotine addiction. We applaud Senator Mayfield’s efforts to protect the lives of children and teens in Florida.”