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Bill would define e-cigarettes as tobacco products in Michigan

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Efforts to keep electronic cigarettes out of the hands of minors continue this week in Lansing. A state House panel will hold a hearing Tuesday morning on legislation that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes to minors.

The smokeless devices produce a nicotine-laced vapor, but do not contain any actual tobacco. The bipartisan bill would define e-cigarettes as tobacco products. But it would also exempt them from the state’s tobacco tax.

“It does not tax e-cigarettes and it does not limit adult use,” said bill sponsor state Rep. Gail Haines, R-Lake Angelus.

“Why in the world, after the long way that we have come in preventing tobacco use through traditional cigarettes, why would we want to stand by and watch as our teens develop a nicotine addiction?”

Haines’ legislation reflects what Gov. Rick Snyder has said about regulating e-cigarettes. He has distanced himself from other legislation that stops short of defining them as tobacco products.