Minors in Michigan soon won’t be able to vape. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Tuesday. They ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors – currently a federal law. And they ban the use of e-cigarettes by minors.
Schools across the state have called minors vaping an “epidemic.”
The new laws would not put e-cigarettes under the umbrella of Michigan’s tobacco control laws. Instead the laws create new categories for e-cigarettes and products.
The state Department of Health and Human Services opposed the bills. Now Whitmer wants the department to do a study and make recommendations on how Michigan should regulate e-cigarettes and similar products in the future.
DJ Hilson is president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan. He says this is a win for schools that struggle to enforce vaping policies.
“They were, they really had their hands tied. They didn’t know how to quite handle it or what to do, so schools win and that’s a great thing for the state of Michigan.”
Hilson adds schools will now have additional support through law enforcement for school policies aimed at preventing vaping.
“It does give obviously law enforcement the ability to now partner up with schools and to work on not only helping school policy but putting some teeth behind that.”
Governor Whitmer said she signed the bills with reservations. She wants e-cigarettes and vaping products to eventually be regulated as tobacco products. But Whitmer said the new laws start to move the state in the right direction.