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Snyder: Treat e-cigarettes like tobacco

How an e-cigarette works

Governor Rick Snyder says he wants electronic cigarettes to be regulated in Michigan as tobacco products. E-cigarettes deliver a dose of nicotine to users in a mist. There is a bill in the Legislature to ban e-cigarette sales to minors, but would not tax them like cigarettes or subject them to other tobacco-related regulations.

The governor says it makes more sense to simply treat them as a tobacco product.

“It’s a real issue about the substance itself – is it really a tobacco product or not? And if it is a tobacco product – and it’s largely liquid nicotine, then shouldn’t it be treated that way,” he said.

The state Department of Community Health, which is under Snyder’s purview, have been pushing to make e-cigarettes part of the tobacco code.

Backers of the legislation say it would stop sales to minors while the effects of e-cigarettes are studied more.  They also say a standoff would mean more time would go by before sales to minors are outlawed.

Snyder would not say whether he would veto legislation that does not treat e-cigarettes as a tobacco product.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.