State Senator Debbie Mayfield Files Legislation to Combat Youth Vaping in Florida
By Space Coast Daily // November 1, 2019
Bill bans flavored vaping products that target kids
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Senator Debbie Mayfield has filed Senate Bill 694 to combat the dangerous rise in e-cigarette use by minors.
Mayfield is a Republican member of the Florida Senate who has represented the 17th district, which includes Indian River and southern Brevard Counties, since 2016.
This legislation will amend the retail definition of Tobacco Products in Florida Statute to include all recreational nicotine products, including electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine.
This will align the definition of these products with Federal law as outlined by The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009.
Currently, retailers that sell electronic cigarettes and liquid nicotine products do not have to comply with the same restrictions and requirements that tobacco retailers 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.
“Vaping and E-cigarette use among kids has reached epidemic levels,” said Senator Debbie 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.”
There has been a dramatic rise in the use of electronic cigarettes among Florida’s middle and high school students, according to the 2018 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey.
More than one in three Florida high school students have tried e-cigarettes, and nearly one in four reported current use.
Many e-cigarettes are available in fruit, candy and mint flavors that make it more appealing to young people. The Florida Department of Health reports that 85% of youth (ages 12-17) who vape say they use flavors.
This legislation will prohibit the sale of all favored e-liquid flavors, except for tobacco.
“Senate Bill 694 will make a big difference in the youth vaping epidemic,” said Dr. Barry Hummel, a Pediatrician and co-founder 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.”