As reported in RePlay, “The Amusement Machine Owners Association of Florida’s efforts to help stop a cigarette machine ban in the state were successful, according to the organization.

“An amendment to a bill in the [Florida] state legislature would have criminalized the sale of cigarettes through vending machines. The bill itself would have upped the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. AMOAF credits their lobbyist Scott Dick for preventing the success of the bill [from going further].”

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What this could mean?  I spent many years of my life lobbying Cities, States, and Congress fighting cigarette machine bans. Note that I do not smoke but understand the long-term effects of ‘slippery slope’ laws. East Brunswick, NJ I believe was the 2nd city in the US to ban cigarette machines using public health as their platform. Before the ban in East Brunswick, lockout devices were provided to prevent those under 18 and later for those under 21 from purchasing cigarettes from a cigarette machine without first showing proof of age to a location staff authorized to hit the remote-control button located behind the Service Desk. They worked pretty well, but you all know the outcome. This lockout product is now being used on marijuana vending machines. Humm.

It is hard to believe that all this is now happening at the Florida state level. Banning a legal product that the government heavily taxes is contradictory to me. Same goes for alcohol, lotteries, and the list goes on and on. Raising the age from 18 to 21 to purchase tobacco products is another topic for debate. Over time it seems that we will see this come up again. Age limits also can go the other way as they have for driving a car and there has recently been talking about lowering the voting age and also discussion of why that age should be raised. These are much larger topics than outright banning cigarette machines. Don’t you think?

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