Michigan becomes the first U.S. state to ban flavored e-cigarettes in an attempt to protect its young people from potentially harmful effects of vaping.
State Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) order the local health department to issue emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products. The Democrat also accused businesses of using candy flavors to introduce and hook children on nicotine.
According to Gov. Whitmer, youth vaping constituted health emergency and urgent action are needed. The Governor cited recent scientific studies according to which vaping products contain various chemicals as well as metal particles whose long-term effect is unknown. She also added that according to scientists, young people and adolescents who vape are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes later in life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found out that as of last week, there are 215 cases of severe pulmonary disease related to the use of e-cigarettes in the United States. The state of Michigan is investigating six such cases. Furthermore, at least two deaths in the country have been linked to vaping.
The new regulations apply to both online and physical stores and enter into force immediately. Initially, it will last for a half a year, and it will be renewed for another six months, the state authorities explained, highlighting that they will work on a permanent ban on flavored e-cigarettes in the meantime.
Retails within Michigan will have 30 days to comply with the new regulations once they are filed in the next few weeks. The ban will most probably be challenged in court. If the state legislature attempts to block the new rules, it will face a veto, added from the Governor's office.
Gov. Whitmer also went further on to prohibit what she labeled misleading descriptions of vapor products such as ''safe'' and ''healthy.''
While Michigan is the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, numerous other cities have limited or prohibited sales of e-cigarettes. For instance, earlier in the summer, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban the sale and distribution of all types of e-cigarettes. The regulation enters into force in 2020.
Vaping advocates already opposed the Michigan ban calling it potentially harmful. They stated that while the long-term effects of vaping are still not confirmed, it is almost certainly safer than traditional cigarettes. In their view, the new restrictions on vaping would have a reverse effect as they will make smokers get back to regular cigarettes.
Nancy Brown of the American Heart Association praised what she called a bold decision of the Michigan Governor, highlighting that national legislation in the field is much needed.
What do you think? Do you support or oppose the ban on flavored e-cigarettes?