Governor Ron DeSantis Calls Vaping ‘Less Harmful’ and Advocates for Adult Access

Saturday Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told a crowd in Fort Dodge his feelings on vapor products. 

 

“On this vaping stuff, you shouldn’t. If you don’t do anything, you shouldn’t start to vape. It’s not good for you. But what I’ve found is people that have used cigarettes and got addicted to that, they’re addicted to nicotine when they go to the vape that’s less harmful for them than doing the normal cigarettes.” 

 

“And so, you know, if somebody can take something and do harm reduction, you know, I don’t think that the FDA should ban that. I think people should have the ability, the adults should have the ability to do that. Obviously, kids shouldn’t be doing any of this stuff,” DeSantis said. 

 

American Vapor Manufacturers posted a clip of this interaction on X Twitter; you can watch the clip here.

 

When asked about the ban on menthol cigarettes in November of this year he made a similar comment.  

 

“If somebody goes from cigarettes to vape, it actually is much less damaging than doing the normal cigarettes. So these people were addicted to nicotine, this is what they had. And if you would have allowed that bill to go in, a lot of them probably would have gone back to cigarettes. That would have been totally counterproductive,”. 

 

And again, in September of 2020 he vetoed a flavor ban in Florida.  

 

In his veto letter, DeSantis called vaping a “reduced-risk alternative” to cigarettes and said the legislation “would almost assuredly lead more people to resume smoking cigarettes." 

 

The governor also raised concerns that the ban could drive more people to the black market. He said that could be significant because of the nationwide cases of lung illness traced to black market vape cartridges containing THC. 

 

DeSantis also said the provision in the bill raising the minimum age to purchase products to 21 is “superfluous” given that’s the age already mandated by federal law. 

 

As for the issue of underage use, the governor said it is still an important goal, but that it “will not be achieved by eliminating legal products for adults and by devastating the small businesses who provide these adults with reduced risk alternatives to cigarettes.” 

 

Governor Ron DeSantis's stance on vaping, rooted in harm reduction and adult autonomy, reflects a pragmatic approach to a complex issue. Emphasizing the reduced risk of vaping compared to traditional cigarettes, he champions the idea of providing adults with alternatives while adamantly denouncing underage usage. His strategic veto of flavor bans and candid remarks against eliminating legal products for adults highlight his commitment to balancing public health concerns with the preservation of small businesses. By advocating for harm reduction and acknowledging the potential consequences of prohibitive measures, Governor DeSantis underscores the importance of informed policy decisions in addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by vaping. 

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