Florida House Bill 169 started out as a bill that would prohibit the sale of nicotine-dispensing devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes, to minors. Now, language has been added to the legislation that would effectively eliminate years of hard work to protect Florida's youth from tobacco products.
With the preemption language, the bill now does more harm than good in the fight to keep children in our state tobacco free.
If this bill becomes law, all of the good work done in communities across Florida to limit the exposure children have to tobacco products in retail environments would be overturned.
Not to mention all future work in this area, like regulating candy flavored tobacco or prohibiting self-service vending machines, would be stopped dead in its tracks.
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Preempting local control of tobacco products would be a dangerous step backward for Florida. In a state that currently boasts one of the lowest youth smoking rates in the nation, we've obviously been doing something right!
I urge you to call or email your representative and senator today and ask that they make sure HB 169 is voted down when they return from Easter break.
Contact Sen. Bill Galvano (Manatee office: 941-741-3401, Tallahassee: 850-487-5026, firstname.lastname@example.org); Rep. Jim Boyd (Manatee office: 941-708-4968, Tallahassee: 850-717-5071, email@example.com); Rep.Greg Steube (Sarasota office: 941-341-3117, Tallahassee: 850-717-5073, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please take a few minutes this week to contact them; it's the right thing to do for our kids!