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Fort Lauderdale Passes Ordinance Raising Age For Tobacco Sales To 21

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale has become the second city in Florida to raise the age for tobacco sales to 21.

The city commission approved the adoption of the Tobacco 21 ordinance on Friday.

The new age restriction includes any sort of tobacco or e-cigarettes products.

The American Heart Association released a statement supporting Fort Lauderdale's decision.

"The American Heart Association applauds the leadership and commitment of the Fort Lauderdale City Commission for helping improve the health and quality of life for all Fort Lauderdale residents by raising the sale age for tobacco products to 21 with the adoption of the Tobacco 21 ordinance. Raising the tobacco age from 18 to 21 is an important step toward reducing youth smoking and preventing a lifetime of addiction and disease. Tobacco 21 will help counter the efforts of the tobacco industry to target young people and minorities. It will help reduce the devastating health and economic consequences of tobacco use in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale is the second local community to adopt Tobacco 21 in the state of Florida, and we encourage other Florida cities and counties to take this important action to protect our youth from the devastating impact of tobacco and the e-cigarette epidemic."

State Rep. Jackie Toledo has called for 21 to become Florida's standard legal age to vape and smoke tobacco.

Youth vaping has been in the spotlight after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had identified 450 cases of severe pulmonary disease linked to vaping.

According to experts, youngsters have found vaping appealing because of flavored products. Data revealed that more than 25 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes, and, in 2018, 68 percent reported using flavors.

The Trump Administration is considering a ban on all flavored vaping products.

Fort Lauderdale's new ordinance doesn't take effect until March of 2020.

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