Amendment 9: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplace.

Author:Carlton, Lisa
Position:Third Florida Constitution Revision Commission Proposals
 
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Amendment 9 seeks to ban the exploration or extraction of oil or natural gas in Florida's state waters. It would also prohibit electronic smoking and vaping in all areas where traditional smoking is already constitutionally prohibited.

This amendment applies to the beaches and waters 10 miles off Florida's Gulf coast and three miles off Florida's Atlantic coast. "No exploration" includes no loud underwater seismic testing that causes both beaching and death to dolphins and whales.

Amendment 9 will also update Florida's Clean Indoor Air Act, first enacted in 1985. (1) The act banned smoking in certain public places. In spite of this act, the effects of second-hand smoke remained. Floridians responded in 2002 by organizing a Citizen's Initiative that led to a constitutional amendment banning smoking in public workplaces, restaurants, and indoor areas. (2) This amendment was passed by more than 70 percent of Floridians. (3) But, today, new smoking technology has emerged. This technology has many names including vaping, e-cigarettes, vape pens, vape mods, and e-hookah. (4) All of these various smoking methods emerged after the adoption of the 2002 constitutional amendment.

Nearly 40 states have banned electronic smoking in public places. (5) Currently, Floridians are constitutionally protected from traditional tobacco smoke but not this new smoking technology. Health organizations, such as the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association, support Amendment 9, (6) which is intended to ensure that Floridians and those visiting our state will be afforded a true smoke-free environment.

(1) Florida Health, Florida Clean Indoor Air Act, http://www. floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/indoor-air-quality/ indoor-air-act/index.html.

(2) Id.

(3) Id.

(4) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of...

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