Flushing proposes new ordinance to crack down on vape laws
FLUSHING, Mich. (WNEM) – The city of Flushing is proposing an ordinance that would prohibit the possession, sale, consumption, or distribution of tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, and vapor products by and to minors.
“Look, our kids are our future and if we don’t do anything here, you know, that’s just irresponsible for us,” said Joe Karlichek, the mayor of Flushing.
The Flushing City Council wants to stop minors from vaping. It’s working to educate the community about the potential dangers of the habit, but now, members are taking it a step further with a new proposed ordinance.
“Locally, we really didn’t have a whole lot that we could do. We had no ordinance even though there is a state law, but we want to give our law enforcement the tools necessary,” Karlichek said.
The proposed ordinance would fine any business that sells -- or a person caught buying -- any vaping or tobacco products for anyone under the age of 21. The civil infraction would cost the violator $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second, and any violation after would be a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail or a fine of up to $500.
“We’re really trying to get nailed down the awareness and then also hold people accountable and businesses accountable for selling these vapes to kids,” Karlichek said.
This comes after city workers were called to the high school area for a blockage in the sewer system.
“We discovered the reason for that was a number of vapes,” Karlichek said.
He said students were flushing vapes down the toilet to avoid getting caught, but that practice has led to unintended consequences.
“When they get into our infrastructure, it goes to our wastewater treatment plant and eventually, things have to get ground up and then put back into the river,” Karlichek said. “We don’t want these plastics and these chemicals and materials being put back into our watershed. That’s not appropriate.”
Once the ordinance is approved, it will then go to a second reading and public comments.
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