The sale of nicotine-related products to minors across the state is now illegal thanks in part to the efforts of a group of local students.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation into law this past week banning the sale of e-cigarettes, vapor products, and alternative nicotine products to those who are underage. State Senator Lana Theis of Brighton Township voted for the bills and said, “Simply put, children should not be consuming nicotine, regardless of what form it is delivered in.” She added that while there is an overall decline of tobacco use, vaping and the use of other nicotine products are the rise, and too easy for children to obtain.

The law now prohibits a person from selling or giving vape products or alternative products to minors. Those who are caught violating this law are now subject to an increased $500 fine. Stores that sell these products must display signage explaining the law and ask for identification from anyone attempting to purchase these products. Additionally, nicotine products now must be stored behind a counter or in a locked case.

In March, students from Pinckney High School testified before the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee in support of the legislation. They noted the increased prevalence of vaping by their peers and expressed a need to restrict the ability of their peers from purchasing the products. Theis confirmed her belief that these new laws will go a long way towards keeping the nicotine products out of the hands of youths, and will make certain that anyone who sells them is punished. (MK)