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 stop smoking to modify to reduced-risk nicotine merchandise, I’m writing to induce you to veto SB 810. Resulting from a late-added modification, this invoice goes far past the authors’ authentic intent of elevating the age to buy tobacco and nicotine merchandise to 21, an motion that we might usually assist. Regrettably, what began as a easy invoice is now a risk 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 have been approved by means of the Meals & Drug Administration’s premarket tobacco software (PMTA) course of. Even earlier than the fact of the coronavirus outbreak grew to become 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 thought rife with potential issues. Now, it’s extra evident than ever that such a system is unworkable and can do nice harm.
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 unbelievable that the FDA will full overview 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. Firms that submitted by that date can be permitted to maintain merchandise in the marketplace for one yr (i.e., till Might 12, 2021). Nevertheless, the FDA agreed to maneuver the deadline ahead no less than 4 months to September 9, 2020 resulting from COVID-19. Past the purposeful difficulties being skilled by producers looking for to file purposes (labs being closed, scientific trials being impracticable, and so forth.), the FDA has admitted to experiencing labor drive points. Certainly, the uncertainty created by the coronavirus signifies that the deadline could must 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 Providers 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 acquire market authorization by means of the PMTA course of. The coverage left the merchandise bought primarily by vape outlets and on-line retailers – flavored open system vaping merchandise (bottled e-liquids for refillable vaping techniques) – 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 bought primarily by vape outlets. Secretary Azar has additional said that the Administration is intent on streamlining the PMTA course of to protect small companies from closure. Nonetheless, as you might be conscious, reforming authorities takes time. Even when the reforms are achieved earlier than January 1, 2021, purposes beneath such a reformed system might nonetheless take months or years to be accredited.
Vital progress is being made on this challenge by the Trump Administration in Washington, D.C. But, this invoice would trample on the FDA’s discretion-based enforcement coverage in direction of open-system merchandise manufactured, distributed, and bought all through the State of Florida. Florida residents must know that Florida is open for enterprise and stays a land of financial alternative, not that it will 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 yr, when different state governors reacted to lung sicknesses and deaths attributable to 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 individuals into these harmful issues,” you warned when talking to the media.
As you think about signing SB 810, please keep in mind your personal phrases. Congress has already handed a federal regulation elevating the age to buy tobacco merchandise to 21 and retailers throughout Florida have rushed to adjust to the brand new regulation. There is no such thing as 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 employees wish to talk about this or any challenge, please be at liberty to name or e-mail me.
President – American Vaping Affiliation