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Tim Skubick: Bill would ban e-cig sales to minors

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - On the surface it seems like a worthwhile bill.  Ban those under 18 from smoking e-cigarettes.  Last week the state senate approved the ban and earlier this week a house committee voted to do the same teeing up the bill for a floor vote.

Enter one Gov. Rick Snyder.

He's against it.

What?

Surely he agrees with the sponsors that e-cigs are a gateway for minors leading them to puff on the real thing. That was the major reason this measure is moving.

Yes the governor gets that.  He understands that some minors want to look cool and all grown-up.

What he and his health department are lobbying lawmakers to do is classify these substitute smokes as a tobacco product.

"It has liquid nicotine…if it's a tobacco product treat it that way," he argues.

But here's the rub according to Rep. Hugh Crawford (R-Oakland County) who pushed the ban from his committee.

He thinks the Lung Association wants to classify the product as tobacco so it can be taxed.

Mr. Crawford says thanks but no thanks.

Sen. Glenn Anderson (D-Westland) who ushered the ban through the senate agrees.  "It would kill the bill," he correctly observes which is why he ignored the governor's pleading.

The cagey governor, who continues to polish his skill at staying out of controversial issues, trots out his standard line when he does not want to take a position.

"I won't speculate on that," as he brushes aside the possibility of slapping taxes on E-cigs.

Lawmakers are likely to ignore the boss on this one as they want nothing to do with anything that smells like a tax boost as they are fixin' to run for re-election.
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