Vaping ban ready for Florida Senate vote

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A measure to implement a voter-approved workplace ban on electronic smoking devices is set for a final vote in the Senate as early as next week.

Without comment, the Senate on Thursday set up a vote on a measure (SB 7012) designed to carry out a prohibition on vaping in indoor workplaces.

A final Senate vote on the ban, which was included in a constitutional amendment approved in November could come as early as March 21.

Meanwhile, the House Health & Human Services Committee on Thursday approved a similar measure (HB 7027).

The proposal, sponsored by Lithia Republican Rep. Mike Beltran, is now ready for a House floor vote.

The measures, which mirror a longstanding ban on smoking tobacco in indoor workplaces, would add vaping to a state law that bars people under the age of 18 from smoking tobacco within 1,000 feet of schools.

The legislation would allow people to use e-cigarettes and other devices inside “vapor-generating electronic device” retailers and “retail vape shops.”

As with the tobacco law, e-cigarette use wouldn’t be restricted in private residences, stand-alone bars, designated hotel rooms, retail tobacco shops, facilities run by membership associations, facilities where medical and scientific research is conducted and designated smoking rooms at airports.

However, the measure would give local governments the ability to impose more restrictive regulations on vaping.

Under Florida law, only the state can regulate smoking tobacco.