Senate panel approves Jones’ bills to ban powdered alcohol, e-cigarettes for minors

LANSING, Mich. — Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones to protect children from alcohol and nicotine abuse were approved on Wednesday by the Senate Regulatory Reform Committee.

Senate Bill 231 would prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes and nicotine cartridges to minors as well as ban minors from possessing these objects.

“This is an effort to help protect children across Michigan from electronic cigarettes, which can be just as addictive as traditional cigarettes,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Introducing young children to a smoking culture before they turn 18 is both irresponsible and dangerous. If an adult wants to smoke, that is their decision. But I firmly believe we need to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of our children.”

The legislation would treat stores that sell electronic cigarettes or nicotine cartridges to minors the same way as if they sold them tobacco. Minors who possess these items would be treated the same as if they were in possession of tobacco.

SB 240 would prohibit the sale, distribution and possession of powdered alcohol, currently marketed as Palcohol.

“As a sheriff, I saw many young people die due to alcohol poisoning, and I am afraid that such tragic losses of life will dramatically increase if powdered alcohol is allowed in our state,” Jones said. “We have the opportunity with this legislation to be proactive and protect the public by stopping a dangerous product from coming to Michigan before it begins affecting the safety of our children and the public.”

Jones said that many states have already banned powdered alcohol and other states are considering bans, including New York and Ohio.

SBs 231 and 240 have been sent to the full Senate for consideration.