By Shelby Stewart
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Brandon Substation operated a compliance check on the selling of vape products to those under 21 in the township on June 8. Six out of the 11 retailers sold to the decoy working with OCSO.
The operation came after substation commander Lt. Greg Glover noticed an influx of vaping in the schools. While federal law states that it you have to be 21 to purchase vape products, the state of Michigan has not yet adopted the law and still allows for anyone 18 and up to purchase.
“They cannot sell vape products to a kid under 18 years of age,” he said. “The kids are going to go where they can get the product, but I’m not going to allow that (selling to minors) to happen under our noses.”
Glover also said that four out of the five retailers who did not sell to the decoy were given a heads up ahead of time from the retailers who had already been caught selling and given warnings.
“It will be a misdemeanor violation for the employee to sell,” said Glover. “It’s a violation to the state of Michigan for the business, which can have an effect on their alcohol and tobacco sales.”
The age to purchase tobacco products, including cigarettes, vaping cartridges and e-cigarettes, was raised in December of 2019, from 18 to 21. This was due to a bill signed into law by former president Donald Trump, and took immediate effect, though the State of Michigan has not yet adopted it. All of those responsible were issued a warning from the Sheriff’s Office.
Another issue Glover has seen is people putting marijuana wax in them and smoking that as well.
“In the last five years, it’s really amped up,” he said. “They are a higher nicotine content than cigarettes, and it’s easier to hide than cigarette smoke. Weather the state adopts the law or not, we are going to enforce that these places cannot sell to minors.”
For any parents wondering if their children might be using vape products, Glover said there are a few ways to tell.
“The smell,” he said. “Most of those have a really fruity smell to them. And if your kids have a car, there is a heavy film on the inside of the windows that takes more than Windex to wash off.”