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.
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.