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Royal Oak Commission Passes Resolution in Support of Smoking and Vaping Related


Royal Oak Commission Passes Resolution in Support of Smoking and Vaping Related Reforms

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 19, 2024)

Royal Oak, MI – The Royal Oak City Commission has passed a resolution in support of a series of proposed bills in the Michigan Senate related to smoking and vaping regulations, known as the Protect MI Kids Bill Package. The bills are currently in the Senate’s Committee on Regulatory Affairs.

In the legislation:

Senate Bill 647 would allow local governments to implement ordinances around tobacco sales and use.

Senate Bill 648 would tax e cigarettes/vapes.

Senate Bills 649 and 650 would end the flavoring of tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars

Senate Bills 651 and 652 would require the licensing of tobacco retailers.

Senate Bill 653 would repeal penalties against minors who smoke.

The bills were the subject of a breakout session at the recent Michigan Municipal League conference in Lansing, which Oakland County Times wrote about in detail on March 19.

Current state law means that municipalities cannot regulate tobacco sales at a local level. The resolution in Royal Oak does not create any ordinances, it simply shows support for the legislation currently in the Senate.

In a press release about the resolution, Commissioner Brandon Kolo stated “Our schools have been vocal about asking us for help with the rising tobacco crisis among students. Unfortunately, our ability to act is severely restricted by state law, preventing the city from enacting ordinances to make it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors.

“We have known bad actors at retails across town that are selling to minors and we are powerless to shut them down. This resolution is our call to the Michigan Legislature, asking for the necessary tools to fight tobacco addiction among our youth,” Kolo explained.

Commissioner Rebecca Cheezum said “The reason that the law is like it is in Michigan is because of effective lobbying by the tobacco industry. And why do they lobby? To create new customers. The best way to create new customers is to get people while they are young — to lure youth in with vaping, get them addicted to nicotine, and then they move on to smoking cigarettes. I feel like here we can make a statement against the effectiveness of tobacco lobbying and say we really need power in our community to protect our kids from this addiction.”

 

The press release goes on to state “As the Michigan Legislature gears up to deliberate on these pivotal measures, Michigan residents are urged to voice their support for the Protect MI Kids Bill Package. This legislative effort is a crucial step toward reducing tobacco use among the state’s youth and granting local communities the authority to enforce protective measures effectively.”

Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Washtenaw County, Wayne County, and Benton Harbor have passed similar resolutions.

Learn more about smoking rates in Michigan, advocacy groups, and the proposed bills in our previous story: Taxing Vapes, Banning Menthol, Licensing Cigarette Retailers, and More on the Table in Michigan.

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