More than 6,000 petitions were delivered to Governor Ron DeSantis urging him to veto Senate Bill 810, a measure that would close small businesses and negatively impact the economy statewide. If this bill becomes law, the Florida Smoke Free Association (FSFA) estimates that nearly 1,000 small businesses in the state would be negatively impacted, forcing the loss of 5,000 jobs and a negative economic impact of more than $600 million statewide.
Robert Lovett, president of FSFA said, “During a time when we face a challenged economy, Florida should not add laws on the books that will shutter businesses permanently and restrict the liberties of approximately 2 million adults. We estimate 5,000 jobs lost and a $600 million economic hit statewide—adding to an unemployment rate that will likely climb in the coming months. The bill not only destroy jobs, but also restricts the freedoms of American adults and business owners.
“While we strongly supported legislation to help end underage vaping, and Senate Bill 810 was originally intended to do just that, the measure far surpassed federal regulations already in place and put restrictions on adults who have chosen to stop smoking. Federal law already raised the age from 18 to 21 and helped better regulate the industry so that minors do not become victims of another health crisis. Senate bill 810 does not achieve anything new or help better end underage vape use. Rather, it hurts a small-business driven industry.”
The FSFA held a “Virtual Rally” with adults all across Florida at home. Participants sent in a photos or videos to veto810.org, along with 6,863 petitions, which were delivered to the governor online.
The FSFA supported the increase in age from 18 to 21, which is already in place under the recent federal law. SB 810 goes far beyond the federal regulation by restricting the nearly 1,000 small business vape stores from selling products contained in open tank “mods,” which are exempt from a recent federal rule because they are preferred by adult users. The federal law did ban most closed systems or “pods,” which are used by Juul, and are preferred by minors.