Senate Bill 1080 was passed by the Florida Senate.
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate voted in overwhelming support of a bill that would align the state’s minimum legal sales age for the purchase of tobacco and nicotine products with federal law to the age of 21 years. The Senate voted 29 to 9 to pass Senate Bill (SB) 1080, which was sponsored by Saint Augustine GOP Sen. Travis Hutson.
The proposal would also raise Florida’s smoking age and would preempt local lawmakers from passing protections stricter than local state law. Former President Donald Trump raised the national purchase age in December of 2019. Under Senate Bill 1080, vendors would be required to obtain a new class of nicotine retail permits. While a tobacco permit costs $50 for each business, the new nicotine permit is free. Hutson said that the proposal makes an exception for military service below the age of 21 years.
Similarly, the legislature pushed a bill that would have raised the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21 and would’ve banned flavored nicotine products commonly used in vape. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, opposed this legislation at the time.
“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,” said DeSantis at the time.
The legislation does the following, per the state legislature: “Tobacco and Nicotine Products; Revising age limitations relating to mail order, Internet, and remote sales of tobacco products; providing that it is unlawful for persons under 21 years of age to smoke tobacco or vape in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school during specified hours; preempting the establishment of the minimum age for purchasing and possessing, and the regulation for the marketing, sale, or delivery of, tobacco products to the state; requiring proof of age for certain purchases of tobacco products; requiring retail nicotine product dealers to acquire a permit, etc.”