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June 27, 2018, Canton, MI - Last month, the Charter Township of Canton Board of Trustees approved an amendment to the Township’s ordinance prohibiting minors from possessing tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, vapor products and alternative nicotine products. Currently, Michigan state law does not have a minimum age to possess vapor products as it does with tobacco-based products.Under Chapter 46, of the Charter Township of Canton Code of Ordinances, Section 46-506, it is now illegal for persons under the age of 18 to possess or smoke vapor products or alternative nicotine products on a public highway, street, alley, park or other public property, or in a place of business or amusement. A person who violates this is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable be a fine of not more than $50 for each offense.“The new addition to this ordinance prohibits minors from possessing all types of vapor products using tobacco or any other substance,” said Deputy Police Chief Craig Wilsher.“The use of vapor products by minors continues to increase and is causing health and safety concerns, especially when the substance being vaped is unknown or unregulated by its users. Our officers have been alerted to students as young as middle school-age vaping in public places; the intent of the new ordinance is to prevent use by minors, as well as make it more difficult for under age kids to obtain,” Wilsher adds. In addition, Section 46-505 of the same Chapter, makes it illegal for any person to sell, furnish or give vapor products or alternative nicotine products to a person under the age of 18. Penalty for a violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not for than $50 for each offense. This section also requires all points of retail sale of vapor or alternative nicotine products to post a sign as required by Section 1 of Public Act NO. 31 of 1915 (MCL722.641) that includes:
“The purchase of tobacco products or vapor products or alternative nicotine products by a minor under 18 years of age and the provision of tobacco products or vapor products for alternative nicotine products to a minor are prohibited by law. A minor unlawfully purchasing or using tobacco products is subject to criminal penalties.”
The Canton Police Department has a long history of conducting local business checks for the sale of alcohol and tobacco products to underage persons—these periodic checks will now include e-cigarette, vapor and alternative nicotine products.