Report highlights Florida’s efforts to reduce smoking and vaping

The American Lung Association says that over 80% of young people who vape in Florida choose flavored e-cigarettes and that 80% of black Floridians who smoke use menthol cigarettes.

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.

Variant comparison

Recent analysis in the U.K. found that the risk for adults of being admitted to hospital with the COVID-19 omicron variant was about a third of that for the delta variant

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About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.