Thank you, Governor DeSantis, for vetoing Florida vape ban bill!

Unlike his political counterpart in California, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has vetoed a bill passed by both houses of the state congress that would ban the sales of flavored vaping products statewide.  SB 810 would also have raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. 

The vaping community deserves a huge round of applause for this historic win largely due to their involvement in circulating an online petition urging Gov. DeSantis to veto the bill.  CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association) was instrumental in crafting the verbiage of the petition, but what likely sealed the deal was vapers taking the time to complete the form while sharing personal stories of how switching to vaping from smoking has dramatically improved their lives.

Related Article:  Hey Gov. DeSantis! It’s time to veto the Florida vape ban bill!

In his letter regarding his decision to veto, the Republican lawmaker said that banning adult alternatives to cigarettes that are substantially less harmful than combustible tobacco just does not make sense.  He also expressed his concern for youth tobacco use but implementing a vape ban would hurt adult smokers wanting to quit as well as hundreds of small businesses across the state.

 “Reducing the use of all nicotine-related products, including vaping, among our youth is an important goal, but this will not be achieved by eliminating legal products for adults and by devastating the small businesses who provide these adults with reduced risk alternatives to cigarettes.”

Gov. DeSantis also said that he was concerned about a potential rise in black market sales that would almost certainly follow should a vape ban be implemented.  Contraband cartridges are responsible for the “vaping related” scandal of last fall where over two thousand people were diagnosed with a rare respiratory disorder. 

The strange role of EVALI in the DeSantis vaping ban veto

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would name the condition EVALI, an acronym for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury, and illegally purchased THC-products tainted with Vitamin E acetate were found to be the cause.  Yet lawmakers in the state congress used the EVASLI outbreak as the very reason why they wanted to implement a vape ban in the first place, even though nicotine-based vaping had nothing whatsoever to do with the outbreak.

“This legislation would almost assuredly lead more people to resume smoking cigarettes, and it would drive others to the hazardous black market.  The latter consequence is especially significant because the much-publicized cases of lung injury associated with vaping in recent years has been traced to illegal, or black market, vape cartridges containing THC, not to the types of legal aping products this bill would abolish.”

Related Article:  Still unconvinced of vape bans. Trump says Black Market ‘poison’ is chief concern

President Trump faced a sillier dilemma towards the end of 2019.  The First Lady, Melania, had heard about the alleged dangers off teen vaping, and pushed her husband to get involved.  However, after conducting his own thorough investigate and holding a White House meeting with members of the vaping, business, and medical communities, Mr. Trump decided to only band flavored pod-style products. During a press conference broadcast later that day by ABC News Live, he, too, expressed concerns about a possible rise in black market vaping. 

“The one thing I see though, you watch prohibition, you look at, with the alcohol, you look at cigarettes, if you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally. Okay.  They’re going to make it.  But instead of Reynolds or Juul or legitimate companies, good companies, making something that’s safe, they’re going to be selling stuff on the street corner that could be horrible.   That’s the one problem I can’t seem to forget.  I’ve seen it.  You just have to look at the history of it. And now, instead of having a flavor that’s at least safe, they’re going to be having a flavor that’s poison.  That’s a big problem.”

Unfortunately, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom (D) had the same opportunity as President Trump and Governor DeSantis just last week.  When the congress sent Newsom a similar bill banning the sales of flavored vapes, he signed it on the spot.  In fact, Newsom even ghoulishly broadcast the signing ceremony live on Zoom amid cheers and applause from many of his political supporters.  And just like that, Newsom committed tens of thousands of former smokers throughout California to a lifetime of disease and possible even death by pushing them right back int the loving arms of Big Tobacco. 

Related Article:  Amid soaring COVID cases, wildfires, and social unrest, CA Gov. Newsom ghoulishly adds to death toll by banning flavored vapes

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

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