Healthcare

DeSantis signs bill raising smoking, vaping age in Florida to 21

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed legislation raising the state’s age to purchase nicotine and tobacco products to 21, lining up with federal law.

DeSantis signed the law, which is slated to go into effect in October, on Friday. The signing comes after Florida state House members passed the legislation by a 103-13 vote last month. 

The bill’s supporters argue that the measure shows that Florida is willing to work with regulators to prevent underage use, but health groups argue that the legislation could block local regulations on the sale of tobacco and vaping products.

“Florida kids deserve effective protections, not to be left even more vulnerable to the industry and its predatory practices. And our localities have the right, freedom, and responsibility to protect them, especially when the state won’t,” the American Cancer Society said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times last month. 

There has been pressure nationwide to block the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco to anyone under the age of 21 amid rising rates of vaping among teenagers. The U.S. House and Senate approved raising the age to purchase e-cigarettes and tobacco to 21 in 2019. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 34 deaths in patients who had used e-cigarettes and vaping products in 2019.

Tags CDC e-cigarettes Electronic cigarettes federal guidelines Florida Ron DeSantis Smoking Tobacco vaping

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