Florida Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase Introduced in Senate Again

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Sen. David Simmons, R-9, will once again try to get the minimum tobacco purchasing age in Florida increased from 18 to 21.

Earlier this week, Simmons introduced S.B. 810, which seeks to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, as well as vaping and e-cigarette products, from 18 to 21.

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This is actually the second bill that Simmons has introduced to try to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products this year. In April, the Florida Senate passed S.B. 1618, introduced by Simmons, by a vote of 33-6, however, the bill failed to get approval from the Florida House of Representatives.

Of note, José Oliva, the current co-ceo and former co-owner of Oliva Cigar Co., is the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Oliva has stated that he believes it will be challenging for a tobacco purchasing age increase to pass the House.

S.B. 810 would also establish new penalties for retailers caught selling tobacco products to those under 21:

  • First Offense — Minimum $500 fine;
  • Second Offense within 36 months of the first offense — Minimum $750 fine and a suspension of the ability to sell tobacco products for seven days;
  • Third offense within 36 months of the first offense — Minimum $1,000 fine and a suspension of the ability to sell tobacco products for 30 days;
  • Fourth offense within 36 months of the first offense — Minimum $1,000 fine and a suspension of the ability to sell tobacco products for three years;

If passed, the new law would go into effect on Oct. 1, 2020.

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Charlie Minato
About the author

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.

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