Juul Labs, Vapor Technology Association disagree on Florida’s new vape restrictions
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The issue appears far from settled.

A vape industry giant and a nonprofit trade organization are disagreeing on the impacts of legislation Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed to restrict single-use e-cigarettes in the Sunshine State.

Juul Labs, which led all e-cigarette companies with a 37% market share in 2022, is celebrating the change as vital to protecting Florida consumers from unregulated vape products that come predominantly from China.

The Vapor Technology Association (VTA), a Washington-based advocacy group for the vape industry, argues it’s a gift to Big Tobacco.

DeSantis signed HB 1007 this month to empower the Department of Legal Affairs, under Attorney General Ashley Moody, to develop and maintain a directory of all single-use nicotine vaping products it deems attractive to minors. Those often brightly colored and fruitily flavored products will be banned from Florida shelves starting next year.

The measure includes a carve-out for refillable devices and e-liquids that are part of so-called “open system” vape products that are often pricier and less colorful than their disposable counterparts.

In its original form, the bill would have only allowed sales of 23 vape products, all tobacco flavored and sold by Big Tobacco subsidiaries. But the bill’s Republican sponsors, Gainesville Sen. Keith Perry and Palm City Rep. Toby Overdorf, amended the legislation before its passage to ameliorate concerns from business owners, industry advocates and consumers.

Juul Labs praised the language that passed as an evenhanded step to stop a “flood of illegal vapes pouring into Florida from China” estimated to generate $363 million per year.

“These products are produced by foreign manufacturers who shirk U.S. laws, while continuing to illegally target minors with vape products that feature youth-appealing packaging and flavors. Properly constructed and effectively enforced product directory laws can be an important supplement to federal enforcement against these illegal vapor products,” the company said in a statement.

“We have invested significantly in product development, regulatory science, manufacturing quality controls, and compliance programs. We believe all companies participating in the nicotine vapor market should be doing the same, to ensure that the products reaching consumers are of the highest quality and are reaching only intended users — adult smokers.”

The VTA is less optimistic about the legislation, which its Executive Director, Tony Abboud, described as still raising “numerous public health, legal, and constitutional questions” that could “cripple Florida’s independent vaping industry.”

Abboud noted that the legislation gives “complete power” to Moody, who backed the bill as originally written, and that it is likely to still severely restrict the number and variety of vape product types in Florida.

“The passage of this law sets a dangerous precedent by giving complete power to the Attorney General, whose original intent was to remove all flavored vaping products from the Florida market (and) pick winners and losers based on ambiguous and subjective standards; a power which, if not wielded properly will serve up the independent Florida vapor industry on a platter to Big Tobacco, imperiling the freedoms that are so important to Floridians,” he said in a statement.

“Despite these developments in Florida, VTA continues its call for state and federal officials to restore scientific primacy and integrity to the regulations which govern the safe and reliable sales of e-cigarettes to adult consumers.”

“To that end, VTA is eager to work with Gov. DeSantis, the General Assembly, and the Attorney General to demonstrate why thoughtful and drastic changes in the law and the approach to e-cigarette policy are required in the 2025 Legislative Session in order to make sure that Floridians have access to their favored flavored e-cigarette products and that international tobacco giants overseas don’t profit by the elimination of the independent American vapor industry in Florida.”

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • No nicotine

    April 30, 2024 at 5:37 pm

    Calling is as addictive to teens as cigarettes. The nicotine is just as powerful. Why allow it at all ?

  • Billy Stevens

    May 2, 2024 at 11:36 am

    Why stop there? Ban Alcohol flavors that appeal to kids, then lets ban processed food and high sugar based foods. Kids obesity is a problem in this country as well. But they wont do that, Because they are paid by big lobbyist who protect big tobacco.

Comments are closed.


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