TALLAHASSEE, Fla. —Oil drilling and vaping are bundled together in Amendment 9.
What do the two have to do each other?
The two are bundled together in Amendment 9.
Amendment 9 (.pdf)
- Bans oil and gas drilling beneath state waters.
- The oil and gas ban "does not apply to the transportation of oil and gas produced outside" of state waters.
- Prohibits vaping or e-cigarettes in enclosed indoor workplaces.
- Indoor workplace vaping ban excludes standalone bars or hotel rooms where smoking is allowed.
- Added to the ballot by the Constitution Revision Commission.
- Amends Article II, Section 7, and Article X, Section 20 of the Florida Constitution.
- Law to restrict vaping would become effective July 2019.
- Amendment 9 faced legal challenges. Supreme Court ruled it would remain on the ballot.
Ban on Oil and Gas Drilling
The ban on oil and gas drilling would fall under Article II of the Constitution titled "Natural Resources and Scenic Beauty."
The amendment would prohibit drilling within about 10 miles from areas like Clearwater Beach and about 3.5 miles off the Eastern coastline.
The proposal comes nearly 8 years after the BP oil spill. Sierra Club Chairman Kent Bailey wants to see the amendment pass.
"Nobody wants to come out here and watch the sunset between drilling rigs," Bailey said.
Ban on Vaping in most Indoor Workplaces
The restrictions on electronic cigarettes or vaping would be added to Article X, Section 20 of the Constitution: "Workplaces Without Tobacco Smoke or Vapor."
In the Florida Constitution, it’s described as a "health initiative to protect people from the health hazards of second-hand tobacco smoke and vapor."
Mike Synychak owns the South Tampa business Tampa Vapor.
"I get where people are coming from," Synychak said. "Smoking has been around a long time and people have learned that it’s not good for you. It’s not healthy and I agree with that, but vaping is nothing like smoking."
There are exceptions to the vaping ban. Vaping devices can be used in most private residences, retail tobacco or vaping shops, designated smoking hotel rooms and stand-alone bars.
If approved by voters in November, state lawmakers must adopt the law that restricts vaping by next July.
Amendment 9 faced legal challenges. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the amendment was clear and would remain on the ballot.
Voting yes for Amendment 9 would ban oil and gas drilling in waters that are owned by Florida. It would also prohibit e-cigarettes and vaping in indoor workplaces.
Voting no would keep the drilling and vaping ban out of the constitution.