Prevent the return of the Big Tobacco Monopoly
  1. United States
  2. Fla.
  3. Letter

Prevent the return of the Big Tobacco Monopoly

To: Rep. Black, Gov. Desantis, Sen. Yarborough

From: A constituent in Jacksonville, FL

February 25

Imagine you're at the grocery store and you’re trying to make healthier choices. You’ve got a KIND Bar, or a Mars Bar. Same corporation. Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Cheerios? Smart Water or Coca Cola? A pack of Camels, or an NJOY e-cig? Each pair, Same corporation. let’s say instead of a corporate product, you chose a better product made by a small business. Would you want legislation to take away THAT choice and dictate WHAT you can purchase? Now if that legislation passed, it wouldn’t hurt the corporation, their unhealthy option is still on the market. Instead, it’ll hurt thousands of small businesses who make a healthier alternative. That’s the impact SB1006 has on the nicotine space. The registry requirements in SB1006 makes it so 99.9% of vapor products on the market today, are prohibited—the products small businesses like mine offer. In this case however, both Camel’s & NJOY will still be in every corner store & gas station. If we don't let athletes bet on games they have the ability to influence, Why do we let congress invest in companies they regulate? Now in regard to the FDA, more than 3/4ths of their drug division budget comes directly from Big Pharma themselves. Not only that but 60% of FDA employees who approve a drug for Big Pharma leave their position at the FDA and go work for same drug company they approved the drug for. The same can be said about Matt Holman, former head of the tobacco science office, who left for Phillip Morris. We NEED look beyond these institutional biases and embrace innovation at the local level for public health. Consider this: 28 million adult smokers in the US, 480,000 deaths per year, but no outcry. In contrast, we have over 18 million adult vapers, zero deaths, but we have this massive moral panic?? After its height in 2020, Teen nicotine vaping has actually declined by over 61%. Yes, we should always be concerned about our youth, but this is starting to casts doubt on whether we continue to frame bills under the guise of a 'youth vaping epidemic.' In 6 years, my store, and many like mine, have never sold to an underage person. We have strict measures to prevent this from happening. Yet down the road from me, I have proof of several smoke shops who continuously sell to underage persons. They’ve been reported, yet no enforcement has been taken. This bill will punish me and other vape shops, and allow smoke shops to continue operating. It will only accomplish one thing, it hands harm reduction to Big Tobacco, and I promise you they don’t care about harm reduction. pass SB1006, ⁃ you are endorsing a monopoly, ⁃ turning your back on small businesses, ⁃ ignoring the health benefits that a less harmful alternative offers. I ask that you to oppose this bill- ⁃ stand for the freedom of choice, ⁃ genuine harm reduction, ⁃ and the prosperity of the small businesses that make up our great State of Florida. Thank you for your time and attention.

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