PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – The American Lung Association has released its 20th annual State Of Tobacco Control Report, and it’s a mixed bag of news for the Sunshine State.
While Florida has made significant progress in reducing overall tobacco use, the report called for an end to the sale of flavored products.
It found that over 80% of young people who vape in the state choose flavored e-cigarettes and that 80% of black Floridians who smoke use menthol cigarettes.
“We know that menthol-flavored cigarettes are predominate in the African American community so one of the messages from the report is that health disparities are extending all across the spectrum including tobacco and our inability to control and regulate these flavored products has a disproportionate effect on those disproportionately affected by our healthcare system,” said Dr. Mark Block, Southeast Regional Board Member of the American Lung Association and Chief of Thoracic Surgery Memorial Healthcare System.
Block said Florida received an “F” for funding of tobacco prevention programs but a “B” for smoke-free workplace laws.
Late last year a statewide law took effect raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21.
The move brings Florida in line with existing federal laws.
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