On September 8th, 2020, Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the sale of flavored nicotine products. DeSantis’ Senate Bill 810 prohibited anyone under twenty-one from purchasing or consuming nicotine products. Senate Bill 810 prohibited the sale of flavored nicotine juices. Governor DeSantis argued that this legislation would spur consumers of flavored nicotine products to the illicit market or back to combustible cigarettes. Citing deaths attributed to illicit vape pens, Governor DeSantis chose to allow the use of unregulated nicotine juices. Ron DeSantis believes vaping is a healthier alternative for adults looking for smoking cessation. The data on the lesser impact of vapes is unclear while the number of minors rising becoming regular nicotine vape users is clear. DeSantis may be unaware, but the CDC does not include vaporizers in its list of smoking cessation devices.
While some people argue that vaping is intended as a form of smoking cessation, this is not recognized by the CDC. In 2020 multiple companies have received warnings from the CDC for using cartoon logos to advertise flavored nicotine products. The CDC has stated these logos appeal to children. The issue is these companies are marketing to children in an attempt to initiate new smokers. In 2011 about two percent of students, both middle and high school, used vaporizers.
A 2018 study found around five percent of middle schoolers, had used a nicotine vape in the past thirty days. A 2019 study found ten percent of the middle school age range and almost thirty percent of the high school age range had consumed nicotine within the past 30 days. According to the CDC’s 2020 national tobacco survey, twenty percent of high school students and five percent of middle school students had vaped in the previous thirty days. While the percentage of minors trying vapes decreased from 2019 to 2020 the amount of those surveyed who were heavy users rose. The New York Times has reported that these flavored disposable vapes are alluring children. Although some adults may benefit from using vaporizing smoking cessation devices, children are being allured into nicotine addiction by the tropical and candy-like flavors.
Much of the public considers vaping to be less dangerous than smoking cigarettes but vaping comes with unknown as well as known risks. Vaping has been linked to chronic lung disease as well as worsening asthma. Electronic cigarettes are equally, if not more, addictive than cigarettes. Addiction can negatively alter one’s life in many ways. The use of e-cigarettes can contribute to COPD and as well as lung cancer. The heavy metals and other toxic chemicals in these products may have unknown consequences. The issue at hand is that these products are dangerous and cause addiction, they are not part of a healthy smoking cessation plan.
The contemporary Florida state Attorney General, Ashley Moody, has worked tirelessly to curb advertising geared to children. In 2019, Moody investigated over twenty companies for illegally selling vapes and nicotine liquids. In 2020 Moody pursued legal action against Monster Vape Labs and Lizard Juice for advertising that targets children. The Attorney General said “These companies’ marketing practices include labeling and advertising similar to children’s breakfast cereal products, among others, and video game giveaways, to entice our children to buy their addictive products. As Florida’s Attorney General, and a mother, I will not allow these companies, or any other vaping business, to violate the law and target our children with products that are addictive and particularly harmful to their still-developing minds and bodies.”
Nicotine vaporizer advertising is working. In Florida, there was a sixty-three percent increase in high school age vape use. Children and young adults are being enticed to consume these dangerous products and are capable of purchasing or acquiring these nicotine products regardless of age restrictions. Here at Ogle Law, we side with the Senate Bill 810 sponsor Ashley Moody. We believe these products are harmful. We believe those who target advertising towards the youth of Florida should be accountable. Ogle law imagines a safe and smoke-free Florida. If you or a loved one has faced negative side effects from the use of nicotine, combusted or vaporized, contact Ogle Law.