Florida Senate panel OKs bill raising age to 21 for tobacco, vaping

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Legislation raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for Floridians to possess tobacco or vaping products has cleared a state Senate committee.

The Senate Health Policy Committee voted in favor of the measure Monday. In addition to raising the minimum age to 21, the bill also prevents sale of tobacco and vaping products in vending machines and substitutes non-criminal fines for criminal penalties for those who sell or provide these products to underage people.

Supporters say the measure would align Florida's age limit for alcohol, tobacco and vaping and would help prevent younger adults from getting these products. Opponents object to placing new restrictions on legal-age adults and say vaping can help many people quit smoking riskier tobacco.

The bill moves to a pair of other Senate committees.

Other bills moving through Florida:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.