It could soon be illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to children in Michigan. The state Senate unanimously passed legislation Thursday meant to keep the smokeless devices out of the hands of minors.
So-called “e-cigarettes” deliver a nicotine-laced vapor, but don’t contain tobacco. That means the state cannot currently regulate them along with regular cigarettes and other tobacco products.
“I’ve heard of children easily 10 years old getting this product,” said bill sponsor Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “In fact, Friday, I was reading to a fourth grade, and one of the children mentioned to me that his friend bought one and they played with it.”
“We just want to safeguard children from this product,” said Jones. “I have no objection to adults having it.”
Sellers and underage buyers would both have to pay a $50 fine under the legislation, which now goes to the state House.
Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration says it wants to regulate e-cigarettes alongside regular cigarettes, instead of creating new regulations specifically for the product. That would include taxing the devices like cigarettes and subjecting them to smoke-free workplace and clean indoor air laws.