Cops: Multiple Waterford Shops Sold Vape, Tobacco Products To Underage Decoys

Enforcement efforts continue in the township

WWJ News
October 09, 2019 - 1:02 pm
smoke shop

WATERFORD TWP. (WWJ) - Multiple retailers in Waterford Township have been cited for selling vape or tobacco products to underage decoys.

That's according to the Waterford Township Police Department, which said Wednesday that it's continuing its enforcement efforts with regard to sales of vape, e-cigarette and tobacco products to minor in the Oakland County Community. 

While vaping and e-cigarettes have been widely touted by retailers and manufacturers as a way for adult smokers to kick the habit, police say public health officials worry these sales are an emerging disaster, reversing years of declines in smoking, causing major health problems, and even death.

"These products are marketed to minors, enticing kids to start, and causing them to form habits of both vaping and/or using e-cigarettes," said Waterford Police Chief Scott Underwood, in a media  release. "Research shows that kids who start vaping or using e-cigarettes are more likely to take up traditional smoking."

Working in cooperation with the Waterford Coalition for Youth, police said vape and smoke shops were visited in a "covert fashion" to check compliance with Michigan law and Waterford Township ordinances regarding sales to minors.

Their intent, police said, was to ensure those establishments are being diligent about checking identification and operating responsibly under the law.

Underwood said his department deployed underage decoys to retail establishments throughout the township.

The results: A majority of shops, 85%, acted responsibly by asking for ID and refusing to sell the items. 

However, 15% of retailers visited, Underwood said, sold to the minor and were cited. 

One establishment, the Glass House VAPE and Smoke Shop located at 3424 Highland Road, was cited twice; once for sale of tobacco to a 15-year-old decoy and again several months later for selling vape products to a second decoy without asking for the shopper's age or ID. 

Underwood stressed that these operations are ongoing. "Minors seeking to purchase tobacco products as well as those furnishing them to minors are once again forewarned that enforcement efforts will continue," he said.

This comes as federal and state health officials are urging people of all ages not to use any vape or e-cigarette products while investigations continue into what is causing a rash of illnesses and deaths access the nation, including one death this month in Michigan

Meanwhile, emergency rules banning the sale an advertisement of sweet and fruity vape flavors, including mint and menthol, are in effect in the state. The Michigan ban, which does not include tobacco-flavored vape products, will last for six months and then can be renewed for another six months.