News and Events

Orange Park Passes E-Cig Ordinance
December 3 , 2013

On December 3, 2013 the town of Orange Park passed and ordinance placing new restrictions on the sale and use of electronic cigarettes. The vote took place after a longer process than usual, which included numerous public hearings and modifications to the language of the ordinance. Councilman Steve Howard made the motion to pass the ordinance with Vice-Mayor Marge Hutton seconded. The council then passed the amended ordinance by a vote of 5 to 0, changing the way the city treats electronic cigarettes.

The ordinance will ban the sale of e-cigarettes to people younger than 18, restrict e-cigarette use to areas where tobacco smoking is allowed, and change the way that those products are displayed requiring they no longer be self service products.

Clay County passed a similar ordinance back in May that did not apply to municipalities.

"This ordinance does not prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to adults," said Vice Mayor Marge Hutton. "It aligns [our ordinance] with The Florida Clean Indoor Air Act," which prohibits smoking in any indoor facility in Florida.

Anyone who violates the Orange Park ordinance can be fined $100 for the first offense and up to $500 for repeated offenses. No criminal penalties are attached for individuals who break the ordinance, however, a misdemeanor offense will apply to vendors.

Although a Federal Court has granted the FDA the authority to regulate electronic cigarettes as tobacco products, the FDA has yet to issue any specific guidance. The Town of Orange Park has joined a growing list of cities and counties that are taking action in the absence of any state or federal rules.

For more information on the regulation of electronic cigarettes in Florida, visit the Tobacco Prevention Network of Florida.