Leading Public Health Organizations Unite in Opposition of House Bill 7089
Statement on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation/Tobacco21.org
TALLAHASSEE, FL – February 26, 2020 – This session, House members have renounced their promise to protect youth from a lifetime of tobacco addiction by turning a blind eye to the comprehensive, evidence-based policies that would do so.
Sponsored by Rep. Toledo and Rep. Duran, HB 7089 is a testament to the tobacco industry’s pressure on lawmakers to enact weak legislation that serves their profits and fails Florida youth.
Amid the highest youth tobacco use rate in 20 years, Florida has seen record youth smoking rates, demonstrating the need to pass proven policies that reduce youth tobacco use by restricting access. HB 7089 is a gift to the industry which caused the epidemic in the first place.
The disconcerting provisions laid out in the bill fails to include all tobacco products in the definition of tobacco products which could result in certain products being exempt from other tobacco control laws. This duplicative regulatory and enforcement effort by the state would create unnecessary bureaucracy and waste tax payer dollars. The tobacco industry has caused the problem and should not be trusted to self-regulate itself and fix it.
By building upon current state retail licensure and regulations, our state could begin enforcement as soon as tomorrow. Rather, HB 7089 establishes an uneven playing field by creating new categories for how e-cigarettes and other tobacco products are regulated – delaying enforcement.
For decades, our organizations have seen how weak legislation leads to more lives lost to tobacco. Failure to pass proven, life-saving policy gives the false impression that work is done and brings us no closer to reducing the cancer, lung and heart disease burden in our state.
Our organizations are urging the Florida legislature to prioritize Florida youth over the tobacco industry’s profits and oppose House bill 7089. Florida lawmakers can do better to offer effective protections, and our children deserve as much.
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.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org.