MI bill would raise fines for minors who buy/use tobacco

Sep 27, 2013

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.