Enforcing Vapor Product Compliance Checks in Muskegon County

Missy Gallegos, Public Health Educator

Muskegon, MI – Each year as part of the No Cigs for Our Kids Campaign, local tobacco retailers are checked for compliance under the Youth Tobacco Act which prohibits the selling, giving or furnishing of tobacco products to minors. The Youth Tobacco Act does not include vapor products also known as e-cigarettes or ENDS. In 2015, the Muskegon County Commission adopted Ordinance No. 2015-487 Possession of Tobacco Products by Minors. This ordinance makes it illegal to furnish tobacco products, including vapor products to minors.

Beginning March of 2018 Public Health – Muskegon County and the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office began checking compliance of the ordinance at all tobacco and vape shop retailers in Muskegon County. Many vapor products contain nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Teens that use vapor products could unknowingly become addicted.

Overall youth cigarette use is declining; however, there is a growing trend of vapor product use. In Muskegon County the percentage of students using electronic vapor products is 10% higher than traditional cigarettes, according to the 2015 – 2016 Michigan Profile for a Health Youth (MiPHY). Nationally, there was over a 900% increase in e-cigarette use over the same time period.

“From 2013 to 2018 many tobacco retailers in Muskegon County have met 100% compliance on traditional cigarette checks,” explains Missy Gallegos, a Public Health Educator and Designated Youth Tobacco Use Representative (DYTUR) at Public Health Muskegon County. “With vaping becoming a growing trend among teens, we want all retailers to be in compliance and to understand the important role they play in preventing nicotine addiction.”

Editorial Notes:

Muskegon County Board of Commissioners Ordinance No. 2015-487 Possession of Tobacco Products by Minors

Youth Tobacco Act

Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth

E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults A Report of the Surgeon General