At the study session before its regular meeting Thursday night, the Brighton City Council was given a presentation on inhaling the vapor from e-cigarettes – called “vaping” – and the possibility of passing a local ordinance to limit the practice by minors.

A presentation was given by Brighton High School Liaison Officer Chris Parks on vaping, which is illegal for minors under the age of 18 under federal law. However, Michigan is the only state in the nation in which vaping by minors is not illegal. Although federal law trumps Michigan law, it doesn’t bar the possession of vaping products by those under 18. As a result, the city of Brighton is looking at enacting an ordinance that would ban both the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and possession of e-cigarettes or vaping products by minors.

Brighton School officials were at the meeting and said that vaping at the secondary school level has become a virtual epidemic.

City officials were told that at, one Brighton school, over 100 e-cigarettes or vaping devices were confiscated last year and they are well on their way to topping that mark this year. National figures show that 3 million school-age children, including 600,000 middle school students – have tried vaping. And the concern is that it could lead to trying stronger substances, such as regular cigarettes or marijuana. Many students reportedly regard it as “cool” to vape, but besides nicotine, e-cigarettes can also contain volatile organic compounds and heavy metals, including lead, nickel and tin.

Bradford says the city wants to implement an ordinance that would keep e-cigarettes from getting into the hands of minors, but more importantly, target businesses that sell such products to minors, typically, gas stations and party stores. Another problem is that e-cigarette products can be obtained online. Bradford says no citations under federal law have been issued to any Brighton businesses at this time. (TT)