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Cutting through smoke of Florida’s vaping laws

8 On Your Side

TAMPA (WFLA) – The FDA is in charge of regulating e-cigarettes, liquid flavors, and related products. However, trying to cut through the smoke when it comes to vaping laws in Florida can be tricky because they’re inconsistent and changing.

If you want to vape in Florida, go ahead and puff away if you are outside a workplace and you are old enough. In Florida, if you are under 18 years of age, Attorney General Ashley Moody says you should not have a vaping device. Nor should you be vaping.

If you are in Hillsborough County or Alachua County or Fort Lauderdale, the vaping age has been raised to 21.

8 On Your Side is keeping watch on several other communities in the Sunshine State still wrestling with vaping laws.

“The reason you are seeing both the local jurisdictions and state lawmakers and governors stepping up and taking active steps is because we haven’t seen that being done federally,” said Attorney General Moody.

That could be be changing. In September, President Donald Trump suggested a nationwide age limit of 21. A ban on the sale of candy, dessert, and fruity flavors is also being considered. Right now, the penalties are wide ranging including community service and fines depending upon the statute.

The Florida Attorney General has recommended that the legislature streamline the penalties and include an education component. She also has a recommendation for vaping companies: Don’t market to our children. Her office is now investigating 22 vaping companies doing business in Florida to see if they are playing by the rules. “If in fact there have been violations of law or deceptive marketing, people need to be held accountable,” said Moody.

The Attorney General calls teen vaping a growing epidemic. In part, because teens and parents don’t understand vaping products contain nicotine. That’s why she wants lawmakers to approve spending money on a state-wide marketing campaign to get that message out.

The President’s call to raise the vaping age limit to 21 is currently on hold, but not off the table. He plans to meet with vaping industry executives and public health advocates on Friday to discuss that topic and the federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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