June 29, 2020
The Honorable Ron DeSantis
Governor, State of Florida
400 South Monroe Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Topic: Veto Request for CS/CS/SB 810 Tobacco and Nicotine Merchandise
Pricey Governor DeSantis:
On behalf of the American Vaping Affiliation, a nonprofit group that advocates for adults who’re unwilling or unable to give up smoking to change to reduced-risk nicotine merchandise, I’m writing to induce you to veto SB 810. Attributable to a late-added modification, this invoice goes far past the authors’ unique intent of elevating the age to buy tobacco and nicotine merchandise to 21, an motion that we’d usually assist. Regrettably, what began as a easy invoice is now a menace to 800,000-plus grownup vapers and 5,000-plus direct vapor-related jobs within the State of Florida.
The supply in query – present in Part 6, Half (5)(a) of the invoice – would ban the sale of all flavored vaping merchandise within the state starting on January 1, 2021. The one exception within the invoice is for merchandise which were licensed via the Meals & Drug Administration’s premarket tobacco software (PMTA) course of. Even earlier than the truth of the coronavirus outbreak turned clear, utilizing an arbitrary date to needlessly tie Florida’s coverage on a shopper product to the long run actions of the federal authorities was an concept rife with potential issues. Now, it’s extra evident than ever that such a system is unworkable and can do nice injury.
The FDA has not but granted or rejected a PMTA for a single vaping product. Now, as results of the coronavirus outbreak, it’s extremely inconceivable that the FDA will full assessment of PMTAs filed for flavored vaping merchandise earlier than January 1, 2021.
On the time SB 810 handed, the FDA had set Might 12, 2020, because the deadline for vaping product producers to submit PMTAs. Corporations that submitted by that date can be permitted to maintain merchandise in the marketplace for one 12 months (i.e., till Might 12, 2021). Nonetheless, the FDA agreed to maneuver the deadline ahead at the very least 4 months to September 9, 2020 because of COVID-19. Past the purposeful difficulties being skilled by producers searching for to file functions (labs being closed, medical trials being impracticable, and many others.), the FDA has admitted to experiencing labor power points. Certainly, the uncertainty created by the coronavirus signifies that the deadline could should be prolonged once more, which solely additional underscores how unlikely it’s that the FDA will act on PMTAs for flavored merchandise earlier than January 1, 2021.
The flavour ban present in SB 810 would additionally contravene federal coverage on vaping flavors.
I used to be lucky sufficient to be within the room with President Donald Trump on November 22, 2019, for a stakeholder assembly on vaping regulation. Following that assembly, President Trump and Well being & Human Companies Secretary Alex Azar formulated a plan designed to handle the vaping merchandise hottest with youth, whereas nonetheless leaving adults with the liberty to entry efficient and safer alternate options.
This enforcement coverage, which went into impact nationwide in early-February, quickly bans the sale of flavored closed-system vaping merchandise (sealed pods and cartridges) till the merchandise receive market authorization via the PMTA course of. The coverage left the merchandise offered primarily by vape outlets and on-line retailers – flavored open system vaping merchandise (bottled e-liquids for refillable vaping programs) – in the marketplace for adults.
HHS Secretary Azar has made clear that his and the Trump Administration’s focus is on flavored closed-system vaping merchandise, not the open system vaping merchandise offered primarily by vape outlets. Secretary Azar has additional said that the Administration is intent on streamlining the PMTA course of to defend small companies from closure. Nonetheless, as you’re conscious, reforming authorities takes time. Even when the reforms are achieved earlier than January 1, 2021, functions beneath such a reformed system might nonetheless take months or years to be accepted.
Vital progress is being made on this difficulty by the Trump Administration in Washington, D.C. But, this invoice would trample on the FDA’s discretion-based enforcement coverage in the direction of open-system merchandise manufactured, distributed, and offered all through the State of Florida. Florida residents have to know that Florida is open for enterprise and stays a land of financial alternative, not that it’s going to be the subsequent state to approve coverage concepts being pushed by billionaire nannies like Michael Bloomberg.
The prohibition of flavored merchandise will solely result in extra harmful unlawful use.
Final 12 months, when different state governors reacted to lung diseases and deaths brought on by illicit THC vaping cartridges by banning the sale of authorized nicotine vaping merchandise, you refused to offer in to the hysteria. “The issue is, in the event you ban the conventional stuff within the retailer, that might push extra folks into these harmful issues,” you warned when chatting with the media.
As you think about signing SB 810, please keep in mind your individual phrases. Congress has already handed a federal legislation elevating the age to buy tobacco merchandise to 21 and retailers throughout Florida have rushed to adjust to the brand new legislation. There isn’t a pressing want for a state invoice, particularly when the invoice earlier than you’ll needlessly crush small companies and ship grownup vaping product customers to the black market or again to flamable cigarettes.
In case your workers wish to talk about this or any difficulty, please be at liberty to name or e mail me.
President – American Vaping Affiliation