DeSantis Steps In and Holds Off Big Tobacco

DeSantis Steps In and Holds Off Big Tobacco

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
March 15, 2024

The Florida Legislature is poised to send a legislative measure concerning the regulation of single-use (disposable) vape products to Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R-FL) desk.

HB 1007 – Nicotine Products and Dispensing Devices – passed both chambers significantly different than the legislation’s original language, but it could be argued that the end goal was still reached: keeping vapes out of the hands of children.

Initially, the bill was set to ban any vape devices that were not Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. Only 23 products – all owned by Big Tobacco – were deemed legal by the bill. This would’ve severely affected small business vape shops as they wouldn’t be able to compete with the corporate conglomerates.

With all this in mind, The Floridian has learned that through Gov. DeSantis’ intervention in the final weeks of session, the bill was amended in both chambers to focus on the disposable, non-refillable vapes (a lot of which come from China) that were seemingly marketed to children.

HB 1007 will also grant Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) the ability to determine the products she deems are marketed toward kids.

State Senator Keith Perry (R-FL) – the bill’s sponsor – still approves of the manipulated version of the legislation, and Attorney General Moody’s ability to have more control surrounding this issue.

"It's still a really good bill," Perry said in an interview recently according to ABC News. "The attorney general, kind of through things she has to prove, can determine that they're marketing towards children, then she can regulate those (products) and take those off the market. That's really where the problem has been, anyway. We're not concerned with adults that vape. That's their decision."

In short, Gov. DeSantis was able to step in and find the middle ground. Adults retained their freedom to use vapor products, the mom-and-pop vape stores could continue to operate, China was addressed, and an effort was made to keep unhealthy products out of the hands of children.

Finally, it’s a big win for Moody as she will not have to go through the Biden administration-run FDA as the bill will allow her to create her own registry.

DeSantis can either veto, sign the bill into law, or allow the bill to go into law without his signature on Oct. 1.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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