Hillsborough County Considers Action Against Teen Vaping in Tampa Schools

Hillsborough County Considers Action Against Teen Vaping in Tampa Schools
Florida county officials consider action against rising teen e-cigarette use within schools' 500ft range; state law already prohibits use near schools.

Hillsborough County, Florida - The prevalence of teenagers consuming electronic cigarettes in Tampa schools is increasing, and now the Hillsborough County Commissioners are considering taking action.

During their weekly meeting, the committee members unanimously voted to study the number of businesses selling e-cigarette devices within 500 feet of elementary, middle, and high schools in Hillsborough County.

A law in Florida now prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from smoking or using electronic cigarettes within 1000 feet of any school. However, this new law may lead to difficulties in obtaining or encouraging the use of these products.

This is currently an urgent need and crisis in our community," stated Lunden.

County Mayor Michael Owen raised the issue to the board, stating that he has noticed an increase in teenagers using electronic cigarettes in Tampa.

According to County Commissioner Pat Kemp, it is surprising that there are no federal laws prohibiting the sale of e-cigarette devices to teenagers, and she noted that the long-term effects of such devices are still unknown.

It is important to do what is within our jurisdiction and legal authority. I am once again shocked because this is not state law nor is it preemptive," said Kamp.

According to data from the CDC, currently one in seven high school students use e-cigarettes. The American Heart Association states that thousands of children every day are starting to use e-cigarettes.

On Wednesday, electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul agreed to settle over 5,000 lawsuits related to their product, marking another victory for anti-vaping advocates.

Juul has been accused of targeting teenagers through its marketing tactics, which include colorful packaging, a variety of flavors, and young models.

The actual settlement amount is unknown. The company denies any wrongdoing.

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