The Florida Smoke Free Association (FSFA), along with VISTA and Capitol Access, met with HB 1143’s sponsor, Rep. Shawn Harrison yesterday after the Health Quality Subcommittee meeting. Discussions took place regarding the issues within the bill that need to be amended. Clearly, defining what vapor means in the Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) and having similar exemptions as tobacco were certainly discussed with Rep. Harrison. Allowing vapor retailers, conventions, and private business exemptions to vape and sample liquids in their establishments is the position we intend to take. Let’s face it, the reality is that vaping where smoking is currently prohibited under the CIAA is a violation of civil liberties and is the position that HB1143 currently takes.
The second position FSFA has is fighting the bill through the committee hearings and pushing for it to be voted down. Currently, there is no support attached to HB 1143 in the Florida Senate. This is a positive for our industry. The next stop for this bill is with the Business & Professions Subcommittee and has not been placed on the agenda.
We ask that you remain alert to calls-to-action as the next scheduled meeting for this committee is set for Tuesday, January 26th. At yesterday’s vote, there were 13 committee members. The results were 10 yeas (to pass), 2 nays (to fail) and 1 missed vote. From the public, and on record, there were 3 in favor of passing (two adults, one minor), and 12 adults in opposition. This being said, we still have much work to do.
The FSFA and the vapor industry in Florida has made their presence known to the committee and Rep. Harrison. We have planted our flag with the showing of opposition. Over 14,000 emails were sent to the committee and more than 30 vapers from all over the state were in attendance.
What FSFA needs from you and all other vapor industry businesses is dedication to our mission. With this support we together can mold sensible regulation in such a tumultuous time in our industry. Joining FSFA immediately is the first step. Our industry is entirely too fragmented and we must unite. We must possess strength in numbers. Monetary support through memberships is needed to fight the bills that threaten our industry.
This is a wake up call for the vapor industry in Florida. There are hundreds of businesses that are not participating in helping us form a well respected industry. We as business owners must lobby these non-participating businesses to join us and gain the support. So please, we ask all of you to put the pressure on your industry contacts and urge them to join us as we attempt to mold common sense regulation.
We are currently formulating a seamless strategy in preparation for the next hearing with our team; FSFA, Capitol Access, VISTA and CASAA. We are truly energized and up for the task at hand. Please standby as we will be calling on you in our next call to action.
Thank you to all the members that are participating. The FSFA appreciates your support and willingness to get involved.
The Florida Smoke-Free Association is a non-profit advocacy group comprised of vaping businesses and consumers. The goal of FSFA is to support and protect the Florida vaping industry. FSFA works with Legislators and Florida Health Officials to reduce the devastating effects of combustible tobacco products.
FSFA is aligned with industry advocacy groups that bridge gaps between state and federal levels. Our media outlets provide access to scientific studies, legislation and educational materials associated with the vaping industry. We engage with small to medium sized businesses, the media, industry advocates and the public to ensure vapers’ rights are addressed. We are dedicated to increasing communication, education and a truthful dialogue between all parties.