E-cigarettes cannot be sold to teens, but may stay on the market

E-cigarettes cannot be sold to teens, but may stay on the market

No teenagers should be using products containing nicotine, and it is in the public interest to discourage such use. Still, vape products are increasingly used by teenagers who see them as a healthier and more attractive alternative to traditional tobacco products such as cigarettes or chewing tobacco.

Vape products are under the oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But, while vape products cannot be sold to minors, they generally cannot be pulled from store shelves either.

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FDA authority over vape products

In March 2022, Congress passed legislation that gave the FDA authority to impose stricter oversight of companies that produce e-cigarettes that use synthetic nicotine in palatable flavors that appeal to teenagers. The FDA is now permitted to take PuffBars and other synthetic nicotine products off the market if they are unlawfully sold to minors.

But while the legislation included timeframes for enforcement, these timeframes were missed. This means that e-cigarettes containing synthetic nicotine are still lawfully on store shelves and continue to be used by minors.

Michigan’s Youth Tobacco Act

Most people in Michigan already know that it is unlawful to sell or give away tobacco products such as cigars, cigarettes and chewing tobacco to individuals under age 21. These laws also apply to vape products.

Under Michigan’s Youth Tobacco Act, it is unlawful to sell or give vape products to individuals under age 21. Doing so is a misdemeanor offense that could result in fines ranging from $100 to $2,500.

Merchants selling vape products must also verify that a customer is age 21 or above before selling the customer vape products. They can verify age by checking the ID of customers who appear to be under age 27 or, for sales made over the Internet, by using an independent third-party age verification service.