Florida Governor Vetoes Bill Increasing Tobacco Purchasing Age

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On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed Senate Bill 810, which sought to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products to 21 to bring the state into alignment with federal law. It would have also placed a ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, which DeSantis said had been helpful in helping Floridians stop using tobacco.

The bill had been passed by the state legislature in March, passing the House by a 99-17 vote and the Senate by a 34-4 vote.

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In his veto letter, DeSantis said that the ban would lead people back to tobacco products or to the black market to get flavored vaping products, the latter of which he said has been tied to lung injury. He said that such a ban would also be devastating to businesses who sell these products legally. While he cited the positive aspect of reducing the use of nicotine products by youth, he said it would not be achieved in the manner that SB 810 seeks.

With the veto, the bill returns to the legislature where at least two-thirds of each chamber must approve it to override the veto, something that appears possible given the initial vote totals. However, since the legislature is not currently in session, that wouldn’t happen until the next regular session, which runs from March 2 – April 30, 2021.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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