Gov. DeSantis vetoes bill to raise smoking, vaping age to 21

The governor of Florida vetoed a bill that would have raised the smoking age in the state from 18 to 21.

The bill was introduced and passed back in March, in response to youth vaping studies and reports.

"The legislation would almost assuredly lead more people to resume smoking cigarettes, and it would drive others to the hazardous black market," said DeSantis, in a letter to Florida Secretary Laurel Lee. "The latter consequence is especially significant because the much-publicized cases of lung injury associated with vaping in recent years have been traced to illegal, or black market, vape cartridges containing THC, not to the types of legal vaping products that this bill would abolish."

LINK: Mobile users can view the governor's veto letter here

DeSantis said the law wouldn't reduce the use of vape products and cigarettes among teens. Instead, he said it would eliminate legal products for adults and hurt small businesses that sell them.

Back in February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said emergency-room visits related to e-cigarette or vaping products were on the decline, after sharply increase in August 2019 and peaking in September. 

They said cigarettes or vaping products containing THC are linked to e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury, also called EVALI.

"Vitamin E acetate has been found in product samples tested by FDA and state laboratories and in patient lung fluid samples tested by CDC from geographically diverse states," the CDC added. "Vitamin E acetate has not been found in the lung fluid of people that do not have EVALI."