News and Events

Local Tobacco Retail Licensing Would Help Reduce Youth Access to Tobacco and Vaping Devices
June 22, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that all e-cigarettes currently on the market are considered illegally marketed and are subject to enforcement at the FDA’s discretion. The FDA has reported more than 600 retailers in Florida that have illegally sold e-cigarette products to minors. Though the increase in youth e-cigarette use rates has slowed, 25.6% of high schoolers and 9.1% of middle schoolers are still using e-cigarettes. In Dixie County, 31.5% of 11-17-year-old youth report to have tried vaping and 18.8% are currently using vape. 

E-cigarettes are not safe, period. Nicotine is a dangerous and addictive drug. Using nicotine in your teen years may also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs and tobacco products. The brain develops until about age 25 and is more vulnerable to nicotine’s effects, including reduced impulse control, attention and cognition, and mood disorders. Evidence suggests that teens who use e-cigarettes may be at greater risk of starting to smoke regular cigarettes. Using e-cigarettes can increase your odds of developing respiratory disease by 95%.

E-cigarette aerosol is not water vapor, and can contain harmful substances like cancer-causing chemicals, propylene glycol, diacetyl, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead. 

The e-cigarette industry is continuing to disregard the best interest of communities by manipulating product design to get around FDA regulations. Disposable e-cigarettes are not covered under the FDA’s recently released flavor policy, since they are not cartridge or pod-based.  Some of the increase in vape uses are due to new vaping products on the market.  Juul’s flavored pods have been pulled from the market and its sales are declining, but new flavored products like Puff Bars, Stig and Smok are becoming more popular and are quickly filling that void.

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Dixie County has been working with locally elected officials about policies that can help protect youth from nicotine addiction. In 2014 the Dixie County Commissioners worked with the partnership to adopt a Nicotine Delivery Device (Vaping) policy that restricts the display of Liquid Nicotine and Vaping devices to clerk assisted purchases.  These products must be displayed behind the counter.  With this policy and many other tobacco related policies adopted by the County Commissioners, there is a need for a local retail license to monitor the retailers’ compliance.  Even some of the FDA regulations on Vaping Devices and the new age restriction (Tobacco 21), there is still a need for a local monitoring of these national policies.  These same regulations and restrictions can be added to the tobacco retail license to successfully protect our youth from nicotine addiction.

For more information on helping us work on this initiative, please contact us at