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News Summary

Big tobacco-friendly bill blocks local governments from better regulating the sale of tobacco products

Publication Date: 4/10/2014
  • Author:Editorial: Dr. Barry Hummel
  • Publication:Clay Today Online

Florida House Bill 169, with the stated intent of limiting youth access to e-cigarettes, is moving in the House of Representatives. But added amendment language would strip local governments of their ability to better regulate the sale of all tobacco products and e-cigarettes, overturn existing effective ordinances, and block future opportunities to protect kids in the retail environment. With this preemption language, the bill now does far more harm than good in the fight to keep Florida’s children tobacco-free.

"Instead of protecting our kids and teenagers from getting addicted to nicotine from e-cigarettes, this bill protects tobacco companies – including the same tobacco companies that sell all the cigarettes – from reasonable measures to protect public health," said Dr. Barry Hummel who coordinates the local youth tobacco prevention programs in Clay County.

Many of the local ordinances currently standing in Florida are stronger than the minimum standards required by the FDA and are all meant to keep tobacco products out of the hands of children...

Local governments are closer to the community and able to be more flexible and responsive than state government in effectively dealing with emerging problems and finding innovative solutions. It just makes sense that local governments should be able to implement policies that address the problem of tobacco use...