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Jon Snow, a 16-year-old male, has made a purchase of a pack of e-cigarettes from a store in Miami, Florida. The e-cigarettes had a menthol flavor to them. On his way home, a patrol officer spotted Jon smoking an e-cigarette and requested to inspect it. Upon inspection, he confiscated it based on Bill S. 3319, also referred to as Stopping Appealing Flavors in E-Cigarettes for Kids Act, or SAFE Kids Act, according to which the distribution of cigarettes with any flavor other than the natural tobacco flavor is prohibited. Upon returning to the store, Jon Snow demanded his money back. His request was refused, as he could not return the goods to the shop. A lawsuit was initiated by Jon’s parents, demanding compensation not only for the pack of e-cigarettes but also for moral damages associated with this activity.
There are two issues in this case scenario. The first issue is whether or not the store owners were guilty of violating the SAFE Kids Act. The second issue is whether Jon Snow is entitled to compensation or not, as he was sold goods that were deemed illegal by Florida police authorities, and was deprived of them, thus preventing their usage. It is likely that the Court would rule in favor of the store being guilty of violating the SAFE Kids Act, and basing off that decision, but is unlikely to grant Jon Snow the compensation for being misled by those who sold him the e-cigarettes.
The two rules that come into play in this case scenarios are the S. 3319 SAFE Kids Act, and section 501.142 of Florida Statutes, title XXXIII, Regulation of Trade, Commerce, and Solicitations, Chapter 501 – Consumer protection. According to the SAFE Kids Act, “a tobacco product that is not a cigarette, or any component, part, or accessory of such a product, shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke or aerosol constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor” (“S. 3319,” 2018). This means that no flavors outside of natural tobacco are allowed.
Section 501.142 (1) of Florida Statutes (2018), on the other hand, states that “every retail sales establishment offering goods for sale to the general public that offers no cash refund, credit refund, or exchange of merchandise must post a sign so stating at the point of sale.” However, Section 501.142 (2) adds to the following definition: “The provisions of this section shall not apply to … goods which cannot be resold by the merchant because of any law, rule, or regulation adopted by a governmental body” (“The 2018 Florida Statutes,” 2018). The rule explains the procedures upon which a retailer is not obligated to refund a customer.
In this matter, both selling e-cigarettes by the store and purchasing them by Jon Snow violate the SAFE Kids Act, as they were made with menthol flavor, which is explicitly prohibited by the bill. However, at the same time, section 501.142 (2) denies any compensations because the goods he purchased cannot be resold by the vendor due to any law, rule, or regulation adopted by the government body. In this case, the SAFE Kids Act prevents the store from reselling the goods, even if they were returned to the shop, thus making them ineligible for providing compensation.
Although the store did violate SAFE Kids Act by selling Jon Snow e-cigarettes, they cannot be made to compensate the money paid in the transaction due to section 501.142 (2) of Florida Statutes.
S. 3319. (2018). Web.
The 2018 Florida Statutes. (2018). Web.