Senate Bill Aims To Prohibit E-Cig Sales To Minors

By: Florida Senate; Garin Flowers Email
By: Florida Senate; Garin Flowers Email
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By: Garin Flowers
January 8, 2013

Jim Hampton opened Just Vapin' E-Cig on Capital Circle NE in March of 2013. For him, electronic cigarettes are not only a business venture, but also a life saver.

"Electronic cigarettes do not contain those toxins that are in a traditional cigarette," Hampton said.

"When I found out I had to have a triple bypass, I had picked up an electronic cigarette that I had purchased off of the internet and that very day, I threw away my pack of cigarettes and haven't smoked since."

Wednesday, A state senate committee moved forward on a bill banning the sale of e-cigs to minors.

Senator Liz Benacquisto of Fort Myers is the bill's sponsor.

"Allowing a child to become dependent upon nicotine is not something Florida should be interested in supporting," she said.

Benaquisto argues e-cigs are "becoming increasingly popular among Florida's youth, and yet there are still no age restrictions at both the state and federal level."

Hampton agrees.

"We are fully in support of it. Certainly from the point of opening the store, we wanted to take the stand that we were not going to sell to minors."

Although Hampton is for the bill that would prevent minors from vaping e-cigs, he believes they shouldn't be regulated the same as cigarettes.

"This opens the door for the possibility of over-regulation. There have been some city ordinances that have been discussed in various counties and cities throughout the state of Florida that have been putting the vapor product into the same category as a traditional cigarette," he said.

The bill will now move on to the next committee for approval.

By: Matt Horn
January 8, 2014

Electronic cigarettes are becoming the popular alternative for traditional cigarettes across the country, but a new bill in Florida made it past its committee to possibly ban e-cigs for people under 18.

State Senator Liz Benacquisto would add nicotine dispensing devices to the list of illegal tobacco products for people under the age of 18.

That includes popular products like e-cigs.

“Allowing a child to become dependent upon nicotine is not something Florida should be interested in supporting," says State Senator Liz Benacquisto/(R) Charlotte/Lee Counties. "Instead Bill 224 is a step in the right direction. The Bill does not change any other tobacco or nicotine related statues.”

If passed into law, it would become a second-degree misdemeanor to sell e-cigarettes to minors.

News Release: Florida Senate

Tallahassee–Today, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, chaired by Senator Greg Evers (R-Baker), passed Senate Bill 224, which aims to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes and other alternative tobacco products to minors. The bill is sponsored by Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto (R-Ft. Myers) who released the following statement:

“I am encouraged to see that SB 224 continues to garner support in the Senate,” said Leader Benacquisto. “The use of electronic cigarettes is becoming increasingly popular among Florida’s youth, and yet there are still no age restrictions at both the state and federal level on the purchase of these harmful products. By regulating electronic cigarettes like other tobacco products, Florida will be one step closer to preventing a new generation of nicotine addicts.”

SB 224, which will be considered by the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justices next, seeks to include electronic cigarettes under the current statute that prohibits minors from purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco products across the state. It does not change any other tobacco or nicotine-related statutes.

For more information on Senate Bill 224, please visit

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