Hillsborough County Raises Vaping Age To 21

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Hillsborough County Raises Vaping Age To 21

Hillsborough County raises age of vaping to 21, restricts public vaping, but smoking and other tobacco products are still allowed for 18-20.

1315 people will die today in the US from smoking related illnesses according to the CDC. It still remains the largest cause of preventable death in the country. Yet, this morning the Hillsborough County Commissioners sent a message by restricting young adult’s access to tobacco harm reduction products (vape) while leaving traditional and combustible tobacco products available for the age group to consume.

While Florida Smoke Free Association supports an age increase for tobacco & vape usage to 21+ on a state level, restricting only vape products for these young adults sends the wrong message. Laws like this could force the age group to use more harmful products for nicotine delivery. Therefore, will start their dependence on Big Tobacco products. I’m confident that this is not their intended goal, but it’s the only logical outcome from policy that is clearly a knee jerk reaction.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman

Here is County Commissioner Sandy Murman’s statement from an interview on a local news program. In the interview she states “All local governments in Florida are preempted from doing anything regarding tobacco products, but they left a small opening for e-cigarettes,” she said . “My priority is protecting our children.”

Unfortunately, this decision will have a negative impact on public health in Hillsborough County. Florida Smoke Free Association believes that there are solutions that will decrease youth uptake in the state of Florida, while still allowing adult access to flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Here’s what we do support:

  • Increase state wide vaping and tobacco age to 21+
  • Stricter age verification practices
  • Stiffer penalties for violators
  • Increased authority for school officials
  • Expand no-vape zones around schools
  • Reduce teen access through convenience stores and online sales

You can reach out directly to County Commissioner Sandy Murman by clicking here.

You can read the full PDF agenda for the ordinance by click here.

We’ve come too far, changed too many lives and invested too much to give up now.

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The information in this article is the sole opinion of its author, Jonathan Risteen.