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Michigan Legislator Introduces Tobacco 21 Legislation

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A Michigan state legislator has introduced a bill that seeks to make the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, e-cigarettes and hookah 21-years-old.

H.B. 4736, known as the Youth Tobacco Act, was sponsored by Rep. Tommy Brann, D-Wyoming, and has already gained 13 co-sponsors. The bill would amend the state’s existing law, which requires that a person be at least 18-years-old to buy tobacco products. Tobacco cessation products would be exempt from the new age requirement, however.

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It would also add the phrase “tobacco paraphernalia” to existing law, requiring that a person be at least 21 to purchase an item designed or marketed for the consumption, use, or preparation of a tobacco product.

Fines would also go up under Brann’s proposal, with a violation for selling tobacco to a person under 21 becoming a state civil infraction with a fine between $1,000 and $2,500 for the first offense, and between $2,500 and $5,000 for each subsequent offense within a 24-month period. Currently, a violation is considered a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of no more than $50.

Additionally, local municipalities would be empowered to make their own, stricter regulations about the sale of tobacco products, should they wish.

The bill currently sits with the House Committee on Regulatory Reform. Should it eventually pass, it would go into effect six months after its enactment.

Only two states — California and Hawaii — have passed similar bills so far, though a number of states have active legislation seeking to do so.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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