Between 2017 and 2018, electronic cigarette use by high school students almost doubled from 12% to 21%.
Protecting our Children
Juul’s marketing campaigns, including social media posts, advertisements, and emails, were exploitive and youth-oriented.
This led to a large jump in youth addiction.
What We Can Do:
Pursue legal action against young-centered marketing practices
Stop the push of disinformation
Protect children from addiction
The children of Florida are the victims of a ruthless campaign by e-cigarette manufacturers. It is crucial to highlight the harmful impacts of e-cigarettes, or “vapes,” while also recognizing they are a useful tool for adults in curbing addictions to cigarettes and other harmful products. An all-encompassing ban on electronic cigarettes would be counterproductive to the goals of public health because many Floridians utilize them as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, a practice that is exponentially more harmful than vapes.
While this view is shared across the aisle, most Republicans discount the calculated and purposeful propaganda perpetrated by the e-cigarette industry against our children who are especially susceptible to addiction and harmful effects. Multi-billion dollar e-cigarette corporations are also drawing striking similarities to “Big Tobacco” campaigns from the previous century. A variety of corporations form research subsidiaries, such as JLI Science, that receive funding from and report directly to electronic cigarette manufacturers. They utilize this so-called “research” in order to push disinformation and negate evidence-driven science that reveals the truth behind vaping and the long-term effects of electronic cigarette use. The position of Agriculture Commissioner holds the power under the Florida Statutes to legally pursue these industries, and specifically to intervene in their immoral mass-marketing crusade targeted towards Florida youth.
So, What Can We Do?!
The Commissioner of Agriculture can take legal action against the youth-centered marketing practices of electronic cigarette manufacturers under Section 570.07, which allows for the Commissioner of Agriculture to initiate legal proceedings against any company producing goods that have or will negatively impact the public health, safety, or welfare of Floridians. In order to put an end to disinformation and the manipulation of Florida consumers through industry-funded research, JR will again seek legal action by utilizing Florida statute 501.204, in which practices such as “Unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce…” have been deemed unlawful. Past commissioners have ignored the dangers that electronic cigarettes pose to Florida’s youth, relying on a recent minimum age restriction that is entirely unenforceable and has not stopped the surge in nicotine consumption by children.