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Understanding Vaping Laws for Minors

Vaping is a fad that is quickly solidifying into a stable industry of products around the world. Vaping and electronic cigarette (or e-cigarette) use have dramatically increased from roughly “seven million [users] in 2011 to 35 million [users] in 2016.”

In this blog, we will detail what vaping is, its prevalence with young folks, and the laws surrounding it.

What is Vaping?

E-cigarettes are devices using for inhaling nicotine and other flavored liquids in aerosol form. These devices using a heating coil to turn liquids into a form that users can inhale. The resulting “vapor,” which contains chemicals from the heated liquid, gave rise to the popular name for using an e-cigarette, “vaping.”

Vaping is Popular Among the Youth

Vaping is a big deal for young folks.

Schools have taken note of vaping among students. Some minors in k-12 schools have been using vaping products in school bathrooms and sometimes even in classrooms.

As many as “3 million school-age children” have tried e-cigarette products according to a Free Press News article. The devices are easy to conceal and the vapor produced dissipates quickly making vaping perfect for this age group.

Michigan Law Regarding E-Cigarette and Tabacco Use

Currently, there is no mention of vape products in Michigan’s law regarding tobacco use or in the original Michigan Smoke-Free Law which the Michigan legislature passed in 2009.

However, in 2016, there were additional guidelines passed regarding e-cigarettes. In general terms, Michigan began recognizing e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

There were also specific mentions of guidelines focusing on minors under the age of 18 and e-cigarette use. The document notes “E-cigarettes may be particularly attractive to youth due to their novelty; the fact that they are sold in places easily accessible to youth, such as mall kiosks and gas stations; and their availability in flavors appealing to youth, including chocolate, strawberry, peach, and mango.”

The information presented in these guidelines is not new, but the legislature officially recognizing its impact elevates the stipulated risk e-cigarettes pose to minors. The document goes on to state in no uncertain terms that there is a “minimum purchase age of 18.”

​Some cities have begun to enact consequences for minors in possession of vaping devices. In these municipalities, someone under the age of 18 with a vaping device could be given a misdemeanor.

What this Means for You

Though this law continues to evolve with the evolution of technology and the products tobacco and e-cigarette companies develop, we can state this: minors under the age of 18 can not legally purchase, possess, or consume e-cigarette or vaping products legally.

If you have any questions regarding vaping or e-cigarette laws that may impact you or your dependent minor, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the legal professionals at Aldrich Legal Services today.

The defense attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services can provide reliable criminal advising up to and including litigation. Contact us today for more information by calling (734) 404-3000.

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