Outman vaping legislation approved by Senate

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would focus on limiting minors’ access to vapor nicotine products.

“Vaping has drastically grown in popularity,” said Sen. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes. “A recent study showed us that nicotine use among high school students was twice as high in 2018 compared with 2017. We cannot let this trend continue to grow. We need to take proactive steps to protect kids and young adults from these products.”

Senate Bills 106 and 155, sponsored by Outman and Sen. Marshall Bullock, would prohibit a person from selling or giving a vapor product or alternative nicotine product to a minor and increase the monetary penalty for doing so. Federal law already prohibits the sale of vapor products to minors. However, there is no law in Michigan that prevents minors from possessing such products.

Under the legislation, nicotine products would have to be stored behind the counter or in a locked case. Violators would face a civil infraction and a fine of $500. Stores that sell e-cigarettes and other nicotine would have to have signage explaining the law and would have to ask for the identification of anyone attempting to purchase these products.

“I’ve discussed this issue with parents and school administrators in my district and they all say that this is starting to become a real issue, so we’re trying to get out in front of it,” Outman said. “The focus of this legislation is to prevent kids from obtaining the items in the first place rather than punishing them for possession — though there are guidelines included for those who possess the items as well.”

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