MI bill would raise fines for minors who buy/use tobacco
LANSING, MI (AP)-- Michigan lawmakers are looking to increase fines levied on teens who use tobacco and stores that sell it to them.
A bill approved 37-0 Thursday by the state Senate would raise the fine for an initial violation from $50 to $100. Further violations could cost $500 per violation.
The $50 fine has not been raised in at least 25 years.
Supporters say increasing fines sends a message that smoking by minors under age 18 is unacceptable. About 80 percent of youth smokers will smoke into adulthood, according to a U.S. Surgeon General's report.
Michigan law now prohibits selling, giving or furnishing a tobacco product to a minor. Minors also cannot buy or possess tobacco or use it in a public place.
The legislation now heads to the House.