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Senate Committee approves ban on e-cigs for minors and on powdered alcohol for all

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Michigan would see a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and a ban on the sale of powdered alcohol to anyone, under bills approved this week by a Senate committee.  

The bills also would prohibit the possession and use of e-cigarettes by minors. And the possession and use of powdered alcohol would be illegal for everyone regardless of age.

"Nicotine is a very addictive thing," said State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, who sponsored both bills. "And we don't want minors to start smoking e-cigs and then perhaps go on to other tobacco."

The CDC reported last month that e-cigarette use among high school students increased from 4.5 percent in 2013 to 13.4 percent in 2014.

Jones said Michigan is one of the last states that has not yet banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 40 states had banned the sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes, by the end of last year.   

Jones said powdered alcohol is dangerous because it can be added in large quantities to beverages and even food.  "With powdered alcohol, you won't know how much you're getting until it's too late," he said. "We don't need more death and destruction in Michigan."

Jones said young people can easily sneak powdered alcohol into places where they are otherwise not allowed to drink alcohol.