Under a new regulation approved by the County Commissioners on November 10, electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) vendors are required to obtain a license and refuse sales to minors starting January 1, 2016.
The regulation, which was proposed by the Ingham County Health Department, received wide support from those in attendance at the hearing, including the vendors themselves. The voting was unanimous with all commissioners supporting the regulation.
“The way county government and local stakeholders worked together to put this regulation in place speaks to the necessity of this common sense regulation,” said Brian McGrain, chairperson and District 10 representative. “The regulation will help prevent children in our community from accessing these devices.”
When the regulation was first proposed, vendors were opposed to the requirement that they obtain a tobacco license, but following a series of informational meetings during which vendors voiced concerns, the health department revised the proposed regulation to allow for the creation of an electronic smoking device license. Those who sell electronic cigarettes must hold either a tobacco license or an electronic smoking device license beginning January 1.
“I am pleased that the regulation passed,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “The sale of e-cigarettes to minors is a major health concern because e-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug. Licensing is a means of reducing youth access to these devices.”
Licensed tobacco and electronic smoking device vendors are subject to compliance checks to verify that they are refusing sales to minors. Vendors that already hold a tobacco license will not need an additional license.
According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), current e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014. E-cigarette use has surpassed every tobacco product among teens, including conventional cigarettes.
For information or to obtain a license, please contact Environmental Health at (517) 887-4312