LANSING, Mich., Oct. 24, 2023 — State Rep. Alabas Farhat (D-Dearborn) introduced House Bill 5198 today to combat the use of illegal disposable vape products disguised as everyday items, such as highlighters and ink pens. These products, manufactured overseas and sold illegally in Michigan, have gained attention recently for their rising popularity among teenagers and youth.
“Illegal disposable vapes and those craftily designed to look like innocent school supplies, such as the HighLight Office 4, have become a concerning trend,” Farhat said. “This bill zeroes in on these products, as well as others that lure in our youth with flavors like ‘cookies’ or ‘cake.’ This legislation takes us one step closer to creating a safer and more health-conscious environment for our children.”
HB 5198 focuses on the ban of vapor products that mimic everyday items, notably the deceptive highlighter vape, as well as those employing branding or marketing descriptors like “cookies,” “cake,” “pie,” “desserts,” flavored beverages, celebrity likenesses and other characters appealing to minors. Additionally, it grants authority for the seizure, forfeiture and subsequent destruction of such contraband items. Violators will face fines, starting at $100 for a first-time offense, escalating to $500 for a second offense and capping at $2,500 for a third violation. HB 5198 is slated for a committee review in the weeks ahead.
In response to the bill’s introduction, Farhat said, “I am eager to work hand-in-hand with my colleagues to address this pressing disposable vape issue that endangers our youth. Together, we can pave the way for a safer environment for our children.”
State Rep. Alabas Farhat serves Michigan’s 3rd House District, encompassing Melvindale and parts of Dearborn and Detroit. Educated in public health and policy at the University of Michigan, he emphasizes his work in health, safety, economic development and robust infrastructure. As a staunch advocate for equitable opportunity, Farhat collaborates to prioritize Michiganders’ well-being. His dedication to community and state is evident in his bipartisan legislative approach.