Lawmakers Should Be Prioritizing Florida Youth Over Protecting Big Tobacco’s Profits
ACS CAN Expresses Disappointment Over Today’s Vote, Urging House Lawmakers to Oppose Bill That Would Worsen Today’s Youth Tobacco Epidemic
TALLAHASSE, FL – April 7, 2021 – Today, HB 987 – a bill disguised as a solution to the youth tobacco epidemic – was passed by the House State Administration and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee with a 10-5 vote.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), alongside other leading public health organizations, is urging House lawmakers to do the right thing: oppose HB 987 and prioritize protecting Florida’s youth over tobacco industry profits.
“We’re both disappointed and concerned by today’s vote by the House State Administration and Technology Appropriations Subcommittee. Years of inaction by the state to regulate tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, demands strong, local laws that protect our children from a lifetime of addiction. This bill is void of protections for our children, penalizes them and repeals the right of our local communities to pass the policies that would do so.
“Amid stalled progress in reducing today’s youth tobacco epidemic and a pandemic that has made us acutely aware of the importance of respiratory health, the bill is a gift to Big Tobacco and its allies that have caused today’s youth tobacco crisis.
“Lawmakers claim it’s because they don’t want a ‘patchwork’ of laws, but the truth is that dynamic already exists in Florida, businesses and our local enforcement agencies are accustomed to it and perform well under it.
“Taking away the power of our local communities to act silences the voices of concerned parents, pediatricians and affected teens everywhere and allows our children and communities to continue to suffer at the hands of Big Tobacco.
“Our local leaders have a right and responsibility to pass local policies that meet the pressing public health needs of their residents and such work is vital to reducing cancer, heart and lung disease in our state. At such a critical juncture for public health, the advancement of this bill puts all our progress at risk.”
About ACS CAN at 20
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.