St. Clair Shores City Council approves vaping ordinance

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published May 31, 2019


ST. CLAIR SHORES — As the popularity of cigarettes drops and vaping increases for youth, the St. Clair Shores City Council took steps to make sure that city ordinances prohibit both ways of ingesting nicotine for those under the age of 18.

St. Clair Shores City Attorney Robert Ihrie said that the city has had an ordinance prohibiting the use, sale and possession of tobacco products for minors for many years. But with vaping and e-cigarette use on the rise, which are laced with some or a lot of nicotine, the city felt that it was time to include vaping in its ordinance as well.

“It imposes very similar impositions and prohibitions on the use and sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products as it did on tobacco products,” Ihrie told the City Council May 20, explaining that the change brings the city ordinance in line with state law.

Ihrie explained that the ordinance has graduated penalties, as “the goal is not to get money from young people so much, but to have some kind of training or risk reduction.”

The fine can be reduced by a judge after a minor undergoes some anti-smoking or anti-vaping education, he said.

Police Chief Todd Woodcox told the City Council that police across the county have been “very aggressively dealing with the retailers, making contact with the retailers” to make sure they are aware that e-cigarettes and vaping products cannot be sold to those under 18.

“We’ve made contact ... to let them know this (ordinance) is probably coming. We’ll be making contact with all the retailers to make sure they’re in compliance,” he said.

A motion by Councilwoman Candice Rusie, supported by Councilman Peter Accica, to approve the ordinance passed unanimously May 20.