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Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Florida. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Florida's elected officials:

  1. Reinstate local control of the marketing, sale and delivery of tobacco and nicotine products to local government;
  2. Institute strong regulation and licensing of all tobacco retailers, including electronic cigarette retailers, with annual compliance and enforcement; and
  3. Guarantee access to comprehensive quit tobacco coverage with no barriers to care for Medicaid recipients.
Florida experienced no movement on tobacco prevention and control policies during the 2023 legislative session. Representative Jervonte “Tae” Edmonds and Senator Tina Scott Polsky introduced House Bill 519 and Senate Bill 530 to reinstate the local control of marketing, sale and delivery of tobacco and nicotine products to local government. Unfortunately, neither piece of legislation was heard in committee.

The American Lung Association was able to protect funding for Tobacco Free Florida and ensure the total Fiscal Year 2024 program budget of $83,388,848. Funding will continue to be dedicated to tackling the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The Tobacco Free Florida program is committed to providing a variety of free services to assist individuals with smoking cessation. In addition to the $15.5 million allocated for Quitline services and implementation of a referral program, the program dedicates an additional $9.1 million for in-person cessation counseling.

Despite most tobacco control policies being prevented locally, there is continued education and activity across Florida through the tobacco free partnerships. In fact, many municipalities and counties capitalized on the reinstated authority to regulate the smoking of tobacco products and/or e-cigarettes on public beaches and parks. This has included, but not limited to the areas of Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, Sarasota, Hernando County, Miami-Dade County, Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Monroe County, St. Augustine, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Fernandina Beach, Panama City Beach, and Treasure Island.

In 2024, the American Lung Association will continue to advocate for local control of tobacco prevention and control policies to ensure that communities can respond to the needs of their community through policy change. The Lung Association will continue to educate on the need to enact a comprehensive tobacco retail licensing program that includes e-cigarette retailers focused on strong regulation with an annual licensing fee for all retailers, annual compliance checks and enforcement.

Florida Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $8,643,645,763
Adult Smoking Rate: 11.30%
High School Smoking Rate: 3.30%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: N/A
Middle School Smoking Rate: 1.10%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 32,300
Adult smoking data comes from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking data are taken from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey and middle school smoking data are taken from the 2020 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey. A current high school tobacco use rate is not available for this state.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking-attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking-attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Florida Information

Learn more about your state specific legislation regarding efforts towards effective Tobacco Control.

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