TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – A Florida House panel has rejected a bill that would have included nicotine products under the legal definition of “tobacco products.”

The House Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee voted 8-3 on Tuesday to block the bill (HB 1125), sponsored by Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola.

Vape-shop operators opposed the bill, which, in part, would have required businesses that sell nicotine products to obtain permits as tobacco dealers.

Hill said the measure would address an “epidemic” of youth usage of nicotine products.

“The purpose of this is to stop our children from becoming dependent on nicotine and the usage of this product,” Hill said.

But Rep. Jason Fischer, R-Jacksonville, and Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, questioned the need for the bill and additional regulations.

Fischer said, for example, that it is already illegal for minors to buy such nicotine products. “I think we need less regulation, less government,” Sabatini said.

(©2019 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida’s contributed to this report.)

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