What is Michigan's Youth Tobacco Act?

July 21, 2023 marks one year since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill package into law that amended the Youth Tobacco Act. The amendment raised the minimum legal age for a person to use or purchase tobacco products, vapor products, and alternative nicotine products from 18 to 21.

In addition, the amendment required that retailers post a sign indicating that a person must be 21 years of age to purchase the products listed above. Retailers, including online sellers, are required by law to verify that an individual is at least 21 years of age before selling or furnishing the above products.

What products are covered by the Tobacco 21 laws?

  • Tobacco products - A tobacco product is defined as a product that contains tobacco and is intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to, a cigarette, noncigarette smoking tobacco, or smokeless tobacco.
  • Vapor products - A vapor product is a noncombustible product that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit, or other electronic, chemical, or mechanical means, regardless of shape or size, that can be used to produce vapor from nicotine or any other substance, and the use or inhalation of which simulates smoking.
  • Alternative nicotine products - An alternative nicotine product is a noncombustible product containing nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, absorbed, dissolved, or ingested by any other means.

What other changes were made?

The act also changed the minimum age of entry to a cigar bar or tobacco specialty retail store from 18 to 21 years.

Those selling online or through other remote sales methods are required to perform an age verification through an independent, third-party age verification service. The service should compare the information available from a commercially available database, or aggregate of databases, that are regularly used by government agencies and businesses for age and identity verification.

Help is available

O’Reilly Rancilio is doing its part to provide advice and guidance in this emerging field, including serving as a community partner with the Sterling Heights Drug-Free Coalition, whose purpose includes combating the vaping epidemic. To speak with an attorney, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Business, Municipal