This bill is awful and would prohibit online device and e-liquid/nicotine purchases in Florida.
A bill (SB 810) that would ban direct-to-consumer online sales is scheduled for the first of several committee meetings on
Monday, January 21, 2020
Committee on Health Policy
Pat Thomas Committee Room, Rm 412
601-631 Duval St
Please take a moment to send a message to committee members. Below, CASAA is providing contact information, talking points, and a prewritten comment that you can customize and paste into your email.
Note: Florida’s 2020 Legislative Session is scheduled to end on March 13, 2020.
SB 810 bill sponsors are taking the opportunity to update the state’s minimum tobacco sales age to 21, which is now federal law, to implement a ban on online sales. While some might believe that this will be an advantage for specialty retailers, the reality is that banning online sales only hurts people who don’t have access to a vape shop. Moreover, online age verification platforms are available that are arguably more thorough and reliable than ID checks at a physical point of sale.
Committee Contact Information:
Gayle Harrell ®
Chair (850) 487-5025 email@example.com @Gayle_Harrell
Dennis Baxley ® (850) 487-5012 firstname.lastname@example.org @dennisbaxley
Aaron Bean ® (850) 487-5004 email@example.com @AaronPBean
Manny Diaz ® (850) 487-5036 firstname.lastname@example.org @SenMannyDiazJr
Ed Hooper ® (850) 487-5016 email@example.com Facebook
Debbie Mayfield ® (850) 487-5017 firstname.lastname@example.org @debbie_mayfield
Lori Berman (D)
Vice Chair (850) 487-5031 email@example.com @loriberman
Lauren Book (D) (850) 487-5032 firstname.lastname@example.org @Book4Senate
Janet Cruz (D) (850) 487-5018 email@example.com @SenJanetCruz
Darryl Rouson (D) (850) 487-5019 Rouson.Darryl.firstname.lastname@example.org @darrylrouson
Suggested Talking points to include in your messages, calls, and spoken comments:
- Share your story with officials about switching to vapor products instead of continuing to smoke. (Be sure to mention any health changes you’ve experienced.)
- Online sales bans deny access to safer alternatives to people who can’t travel to a vape shop. At the same time, this ban would protect sales of combustible cigarettes which are sold in almost every convenience store and gas station in Florida.
- Third-party age verification platforms are already required by several states for online sales and are arguably more reliable than face-to-face ID checks.
- Banning online sales ignores the primary sources of nicotine products for young people. Namely social sources like friends and family and social media platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.
Prewritten Message to Copy and Paste into Emails and Contact Forms ( 2301 characters ):
I am writing as a voter and taxpayer in Florida urging you to oppose SB 810, which would ban direct-to-consumer online sales of vapor products. While I agree that more can be done to discourage young people from buying nicotine products, SB 810 goes way beyond what is necessary to enforce Florida’s existing ban on the sale of vapor products to minors. Instead of preventing youth access, this law will deny law-abiding people who smoke access to safer alternatives to combustible tobacco.
Since August of 2016, The Food & Drug Administration has been vigorously enforcing federal regulation which prohibits sales to minors–both in-store and online. The vast majority of online sellers now use a service that checks the age and identity of the purchaser against a third-party government database. Several states such as Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio require online retailers to use an independent, third-party age verification service that compares information available from public records to the personal information entered by the person during the ordering process that establishes the person is of legal purchase age or older. This requirement is effective in preventing youth access while still allowing adults to legally purchase these life-saving products at their convenience.
While Florida is growing rapidly, there is still much of the state that is off the beaten path. As such, many people who smoke who would benefit from switching to smoke free products do not live near a specialty vapor shop. For those who are unable to travel to the nearest city to buy vapor products, online sales are their most reasonable option. Meanwhile, nearly every convenience store and gas station in the state features combustible tobacco products prominently behind the cash register. In an era where harm reduction strategies are being implemented for other issues, it doesn’t make sense that Florida would make it more difficult for people to access safer alternatives to cigarettes.
Please oppose SB 810.
I along with my fellow members of The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) thank you for considering my comments on this issue. I look forward to your continued support in protecting my access to vapor products and would be happy to answer any questions you might have.