Sean Lopez | November 5, 2022 | Florida Law
Vaping Laws in Florida
Vaping has become a popular alternative to traditional cigarettes. Vapes or e-cigarettes come in many different sizes and shapes. Some have a battery, while others are rechargeable.
Inside the vape, a heating element produces an aerosol by heating liquid referred to as “juice.” The liquid in vapes contains nicotine, flavorings, and other additives.
The laws regarding vaping vary by state. Everyone needs to know two important Florida vaping laws: who can legally use vaping products and where vaping is prohibited.
Vape Laws in Florida Restrict Usage by Age
Florida Statute §569.41 prohibits selling, gifting, or otherwise delivering a nicotine product to a person under 21 years old. Violation of the statute is a second-degree misdemeanor offense. The law prohibits anyone under 21 years old from possessing a nicotine product. However, there is an exception for active-duty military members.
Nicotine products include anything that contains nicotine for human consumption, including any nicotine dispensing device. Vaping devices and the liquid used in vapes are considered nicotine products.
Vaping Is Prohibited in Certain Places
You cannot legally vape in any location you choose in Florida.
For example, a person cannot vape or smoke in an enclosed indoor workplace. Vaping is also prohibited near school property.
Many courthouses and other facilities ban vaping inside or within a specific number of feet from the building. In addition, counties and cities may have additional laws restricting the use of vaping products in certain places.
However, there are some exceptions to this law. Exceptions include, but are not limited to, retail vape shops, some stand-alone bars, designated guest rooms at public lodging establishments, and retail tobacco shops.
Controversary About Whether Vaping Is Safe
Many people transitioned from traditional tobacco products to e-cigarettes and vapes because vapes were advertised as a “safer alternative” to smoking. However, no e-cigarettes have been approved as a cessation device to quit smoking. Furthermore, manufacturers are not authorized to make claims regarding a modified risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, using e-cigarettes is unsafe for young adults, teens, and children. They contain nicotine and can be highly addictive. Nicotine can harm brain development.
Furthermore, vapes and e-cigarettes contain other harmful substances that can lead to lung injuries and other diseases. Some vaping devices have exploded or caught fire, causing catastrophic injuries and deaths.
More data and research is necessary to determine all the risks posed by vaping. However, vaping lawsuits are pending against Juul and other parties claiming various injuries and damages caused by the vaping devices.
What Are the Potential Injuries and Health Risks of Using Vaping Products?
E-cigarettes and Juul vape pens have been linked to several adverse health conditions. Some common injuries and health conditions linked to the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems include:
- Popcorn lung is an irreversible respiratory impairment linked to the flavorings used in vaping products
- Nicotine addiction
- Respiratory failure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Seizures in young adults
- Behavior problems and mental health issues
- Heart attacks
- Lung disease
- Birth defects
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
The lawsuits allege vaping products increase the risk of many health conditions and that manufacturers failed to adequately warn consumers of the potential risks of using vaping products.
Additionally, manufacturers are being sued for targeting advertising and marketing campaigns to young adults and teenagers. The result of the marketing strategy is severe nicotine addiction among these age groups.
Some lawsuits allege that some vaping devices are defective. The lithium-ion batteries in Juul vape pens have allegedly caught fire or exploded, causing wrongful death, severe burns, and disfigurement.
Seeking Compensation for Damages Caused by Vaping Products
The causes of action in the lawsuits include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to warn
- Strict liability
- Unjust enrichment
- Design defect
The plaintiffs seek compensation for economic damages incurred because of the harm or injury they sustained after using vaping products. Economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Addiction treatment
- Lost wages
- Personal care
- Counseling and therapy
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Diminished earning potential
In addition, the lawsuits seek compensation for the injured parties’ non-economic damages. These damages include the pain and suffering the victims experience after using vaping devices. Non-economic damages include:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Disability and impairment
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Loss of or decrease in quality of life and enjoyment of life
More lawsuits might be filed as more information and research becomes available regarding the risks and adverse effects of using vaping devices.
If you are unsure whether you can sue for vaping injuries, talk with a St. Petersburg product liability lawyer. An attorney can review the facts of your case and advise whether you might be entitled to compensation for damages caused by vaping devices.
Contact Our Product Liability Law Firm – Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
An experienced St. Pete product liability lawyer will have the resources to investigate the claim and gather evidence, including hiring expert witnesses to assist with the case. Your lawyer will handle the legal aspects of your case while you focus on recovering and healing from a traumatic event.
Contact a St. Petersburg product liability lawyer at Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.
Lopez Law Group Accident Injury Attorneys
700 7th Ave N Suite B
St. Petersburg, FL 33701