teen vaping

Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills Banning Sale Of E-cigarettes To Minors

June 04, 2019 - 1:05 pm

LANSING (WWJ) - Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation aimed at keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of children. 

Senate Bills 106 and 155 clarify that it is illegal to sell vape and other non-traditional nicotine products to minors.

In her signing message to the Legislature, however, Gov. Whitmer criticized the legislation for not going far enough to protect Michigan’s kids from nicotine addiction, calling it “a mistake” to separate e-cigarettes from the Youth Tobacco Act’s definition of “tobacco products.”

“This is an important step in protecting public health and keeping tobacco products out of the hands of our kids, but we have to keep working to ensure that minors don’t have access to any tobacco products, including harmful e-cigarettes,” said Whitmer. “That includes raising the legal age for purchasing these products to 21, curtailing internet sales of e-cigarettes, and banning the marketing of all tobacco products to children. I’m ready to keep working with the legislature to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect our kids and our public health.”

Meanwhile, The American Heart Association and other health organizations have expressed disappointment, criticizing the Legislature for failing to protect Michigan’s young people from what they call the predatory practices by "Big Tobacco" to get kids addicted. 

"While we oppose this legislation in its current form, we do support the governor’s interested in seeking ways to strengthen this policy," the American Heart Association. "It is imperative we find a manner to ensure these dangerous products stay out of the hands of our kids by providing financial disincentives to purchase them, keeping them out of public spaces, and restricting marketing directed specifically towards children. We look forward to working with the Legislature and Gov. Whitmer on this.

Surveys show 21 percent of American high school students and 5% of middle school students—children as young as 12—reported having used e-cigarettes or other vape products in the last 30 days. State officials say the rates are climbing fast: fueled by the availability of flavors akin to Fruit Loops, Fanta, and Nilla wafers, e-cigarette sales to high school students increased 78% from 2017 to 2018.