Florida bills have vape shop owners worried

LARGO, Fla. — Florida Senate Bill 1006 and its counterpart House Bill 1007 are heading toward a floor vote. The bills would limit all vape shops to only carry FDA approved products.

What You Need To Know

  • Companion bills that would limit vape shops to only carry FDA approved products are heading for a vote in the Florida legislature
  • There are more than 10,000 vape businesses in the state, and an advocate for those shops says many could shut down
  • A state senator says Florida leads the nation in sales of illegal vape products 

Florida State Senator Keith Perry is a sponsor of SB 1006 and says the move is meant to protect children and consumers from unsafe products.

“Florida now has the dubious distinction of being the number one state in the country for illegal and illicit vapes,” Perry said.

Perry says illegal vape product sales are more than 360 million a year in Florida alone. The Bill would create a state registry and only FDA products will be eligible.

Some vape shop owners oppose the legislation, including Nick Orlando. He owns four different stores, including Vapors Depot in Largo. Orlando is also President of Florida Smoke Free Association, and advocates for the vape industry at the state capital. He says the proposals will hurt shop owners.

“Over 10,000 mom and pop businesses would shut down. Over 50,000 Floridians would lose their jobs and we would have a huge gap in our economy of $1.2 billion,” Orlando said.

Orlando says the Food and Drug Administration is very tough when it comes to approving products.

“What I mean is these people in our industry that have been around for years helping people get off combustible tobacco, who have filed these applications with our FDA, 99% of those companies have been denied market orders and cannot sell their product if this bill goes into effect,” Orlando said.

He has been traveling to the state capital and trying to work with lawmakers to produce a compromise.

SB 1006 now will head to the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee, then off to a floor vote. Its counterpart, HB 1007, is also heading toward a full vote.

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