Legislation banning sale of nicotine products to minors signed by governor

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation signed into law by the governor on Tuesday bans the sale of e-cigarettes, vapor products and alternative nicotine products to minors in Michigan.

“Simply put, children should not be consuming nicotine, regardless of what form it is delivered in,” said Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, who voted for the bills. “Unfortunately, despite the overall decline of tobacco use, vaping and the use of other nicotine products are on the rise, and these products are too easy for children to obtain. These new laws will go a long way toward keeping these products out of youths’ hands and will make sure anyone who sells to them is punished.”

Senate Bills 106 and 155, now law, prohibit a person from selling or giving a vapor product or alternative nicotine product to a minor and increase the monetary penalty for doing so. Federal law already prohibits the sale of vapor products to minors. However, there is no law in Michigan that prevents minors from possessing such products.

Under the new laws, nicotine products must be stored behind a counter or in a locked case. Violators face a civil infraction and a fine of $500. Stores that sell e-cigarettes and other nicotine must display signage explaining the law and ask for the identification of anyone attempting to purchase these products.

In March, students from Pinckney High School joined Theis to testify before the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee in support of the legislation.

The students voiced their concerns about the increasing prevalence of vaping by their peers and of the need to restrict the ability of youth from purchasing nicotine products.

“Vaping isn’t just a problem in Michigan, or just in our school,” said Anna Blanchard, president of Pinckney High School’s Students Leading Students organization, during committee testimony explaining the widespread and growing use of nicotine products by youth throughout the country.

Another student from the group summed up the need for the new laws.

“I believe that it will help to make sure we have more of a chance of stopping youth from getting ahold of vapes,” she said.

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