Earlier this month, Michigan became the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, and according to the Detroit News, the penalties for violators are extremely harsh.
In an opinion column written by Jessie Kelley and Carrie Wade of the R Street Institute, titled, “Vape flavor ban doesn’t help kids, hurts adults,” the authors make the case that this presumably well-intentioned ban carries consequences that outweigh the benefits, particularly in how it punishes those found in possession of the banned products.
According to the column, a person found in possession of a single pack of e-cigarettes and pods could face years in prison, as well as fines (emphasis added):
These interventions are, indeed, unduly harsh. According to the executive order, anyone found with four or more flavored vaping products is “presumed to possess said items with the intent to sell.” This is punishable by imprisonment of six months and a fine per item. Given that disposable e-cigarettes and pods are often sold in packs of four or five, the fines and years of imprisonment can easily add up. – READ MORE