Laws already regulating the sale of electronic cigarettes in Palm Beach County and other communities would endure under legislation approved Wednesday that ban their sale to minors.
The House voted 114-0 to approve the statewide prohibition on selling nicotine dispensing devices to those under age 18. The measure still has to win final approval from the Senate before going to Gov. Rick Scott.
Anti-smoking advocates were opposing the House’s earlier version of the bill, which would have eliminated local ordinances restricting various sales and display of the devices.
But sponsor Rep. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, withdrew that provision, drawing praise from supporters of the tougher law.
“He’s doing what’s right for the state of Florida,” said Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek.
Palm Beach County is among 28 counties and 28 Florida cities which have adopted some kind of e-cigarette regulation that could have been affected by the initial House proposal, which took standards regulating cigarettes and smokeless tobacco and applied them to e-cigarettes.
The Florida Retail Federation was among those pushing for the so-called statewide preemption of local regulations.
Florida’s Clean Indoor Air Act, enacted in 1985, has prohibited communities from enacting tougher local standards than what the state law set. But like the name implies, it’s aimed chiefly at barring smoking indoors, at workplaces, restaurants and other public buildings.
Still, the statewide preemption has tripped up local efforts to ban smoking on beaches, and this year inspired a push for legislation to allow a smoking ban on playgrounds, a proposal which hasn’t gained traction with lawmakers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida is among 12 states that have a statewide standard banning tougher local regulations, a number that is down from 19 states in 2004.