Massachusetts Lawmakers Receive National Distinguished Advocacy Award for Championing Lifesaving Cancer Public Policy
BOSTON – Massachusetts Rep. Danielle Gregoire and Massachusetts Sen.
TALLAHASSEE, FL – January 22, 2020 – Yesterday, the Senate Health Policy Committee unanimously passed bill SB 810 to increase the state’s age of sale for all tobacco products to align with the federal age of sale and enable enforcement.
The below is a statement from Senior Government Relations Director, Heather Youmans, in reaction to the bill’s preliminary vote.
“Yesterday’s unanimous vote from the Senate Health committee was an encouraging step as we work to ensure a better future for Florida’s kids, one free from Big Tobacco’s grasp. However, to get there, it is imperative we establish strong retailer licensing and penalties, such as suspension and revocation for non-compliant retailers. The bill provisions that place penalties on youth for purchase, use and possession do nothing but inappropriately shift blame on youth. To effectively reduce youth access, our retailers need to be held responsible.
“The youth tobacco epidemic grows worse by the day. Unless current smoking rates decline, 270,000 Florida youth alive today will die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses. Our state laws must be updated to provide clear definitions of tobacco products and proper protective provisions, including retailer licensing and penalties, must be enacted to ensure adequate protections for our kids.
“We are thankful for Senator Simmons’ introduction of this bill to help reduce Florida’s cancer burden. Still, there is more work to be done. We look forward to working with our state lawmakers in furthering the evidence-based policies and enforcement regulations that truly put the health of Florida’s kids first and reduce tobacco’s deadly toll in our state.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.