FL: New Florida vaping, smoking law goes into effect Oct. 1

A new law will raise the state’s legal age to vape and smoke tobacco from 18 to 21, a threshold that already exists in federal law.

Supporters say the measure is necessary to stop youth vaping.

“We are sending a message to the Florida legislature or our government that we want to make sure that people are doing the best thing possible following obviously the federal law, but reinforcing it in the state of Florida. And, we want people will be healthy and we want to be protected and we want them to understand the consequences of smoking or vaping,” said State Representative Matt Whillhite.

New Florida laws go in effect on Oct. 1: What you need to know

Whillhite said the law will also make it illegal to smoke or vape within 1,000 feet of a school.

“The bigger thing that this does to is it gives some setbacks for schools, in school zones and district campuses for this vaping. I think you have to be 1,000 feet away and stuff and so that in itself should tell you that we want to look out for the safety protection of our kids,” Whillhite said.

The bill has drawn opposition from some prominent health groups, in part because it does away with local restrictions on the retailing of tobacco and vaping products.

“It could have a negative impact, I feel, on Florida youth. It will be more easily accessible for them to purchase these products… The law was not needed. It was not necessary. So, the age was already 21, even without this law.” said Tiffany Henderson with American Heart Association.

The new law goes into effect on Oct. 1. To read the full bill, click here.

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