Will E-Cig Legislation Go Up in Flames?
Lawmakers were able to get the job done—agreeing on bills that would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. Now, however, a last-minute push could keep the legislation from becoming law in Michigan.
The Lansing State Journal is reporting today that Governor Rick Snyder is sending signs that he might just veto the bills in favor of something more restrictive.
The legislation as it stands now would prohibit the sale and use of e-cigs and other nicotine-delivery devices for those under the age of 18. It lists that the products are not tobacco and, therefore, not regulated by the FDA.
But medical groups have come forward claiming the bills are too weak. They agree that minors should not have access, but think e-cigarrettes should be listed as a tobacco product and placed under additional restrictions. That would prohibit their use in public places in accordance with the state’s ban on public smoking.
The move would also make the products open to the same tax rate as other tobacco products in Michigan. That legislation was left sitting in a House committee.
Some say that would generate much needed revenue, while others claim it would simply penalize those looking to use the cigarettes as a means to break the nicotine habit.
Members of the state Department of Community Health, one of the organizations urging a veto from the Governor, says more debate is needed before any law is put on the books.
“I don’t think the issue that it’s more of a tobacco product got the full hearing that it should have. Maybe we’ve got to go back and review this and continue the dialogue,” said DCH Director James Haveman.
Sales of e-cigarrettes were nearly $2 billion in 2013 offering more than 200 different brands worldwide.
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