Michigan Legislation Looks To Close Nicotine Loophole

Today cigarettes are illegal for kids under 18, but teens have found a loophole in electronic cigarettes.

Michigan legislation is looking to change that.

“The younger you are when you start using an addictive product and it can be any kind of drug- the more likely you are to be addicted”

Health Planner Donna Norkoli warns that teens with access to nicotine are more likely to develop a lifelong addiction.

Now there’s a new Michigan bill that would ban anyone under 18 from buying electronic cigarettes completely.

“It’s overtaking students that use cigarettes and that’s concerning to because you’re seeing a whole new generation of kids becoming addicted to nicotine,” says Norkoli.

An electronic cigarette is a battery operated alternative to a cigarette that contains synthetic organic compounds as well as nicotine.

“The tobacco companies are marketing this product and that’s what’s concerning to us to is that they’re marketing it towards children, marketing it as glamorous calling it vaping not smoking,” says Norkoli.

However, the proof is in the nicotine and as Dana tells us that science is pretty clear, “You’re body feels uncomfortable when you don’t get the nicotine and that stays with you the rest of your life, it’s a permanent change.”

For kids who are already hooked, there are options.

Programs like those at Wexford Adolescent Center, help kids stop using the drug before it becomes a habit.

Adolescent Health Supervisor, Katy Bies says, “That’s what tends to work the best is when our clinicians can talk to them one on one and try to help them quit smoking.”

However, Donna reminds people that the best quitting solution is to simply never start; “Its important while they’re young because we know you know when they’re starting young then they’re more likely to get addicted when they’re older and the longer they’re addicted the harder it is to quit.”

The senate bill would amend the youth tobacco act to include e-cigarettes and nicotine cartridges, prohibiting anyone from selling or giving them to minors.