MI becomes 1st state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

MI becomes 1st state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

MI has become the first state in the U.S. to ban flavored e-cigarettes, the state's governor announced Wednesday.

Her state executive order comes on the heels of a MI health department determination that vaping amounts to a public health emergency in the state, where at least six people have fallen ill with severe lung damage linked to e-cigarettes.

"My number one priority is keeping our kids safe and protecting the health of the people of MI", says Whitmer.

"Companies selling vaping products are using candy flavors to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe".

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is enacting a six-month ban that goes into effect immediately, she said in a press release.

"Governor Whitmer has taken bold and appropriate action in response to the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use", Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, said in a statement.

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Last year, the FDA announced a series of enforcement actions against more than 1,300 retailers and five major manufacturers for catering vaping products to children.

Flavors are at the center of the regulatory debate on e-cigarettes: Some say they're an important tool in getting adults to switch from combustible cigarettes, while others want to ban them entirely because they appeal to kids and minimize how harmful and addictive vapes are perceived to be.

Vaping company Juul said a total ban on e-cigarettes would create a thriving black market. "We urge the FDA to move urgently to protect public health and exercise strict oversight over all e-cigarette products".

Whitmer's announcement drew praise from public health groups and criticism from organizations that advocate for vaping. The ban comes after an outbreak of lung illnesses reported as a side effect of vaping, as well as one death.

The American Vaping Association says the "shameless attempt at backdoor prohibition" could send thousands of ex-smokers back to deadly cigarettes. In June, San Francisco became the first United States city to ban sales of e-cigarettes and lawmakers in Boulder, Colorado, passed a similar ban last week. These rates are still climbing, likely fueled by the availability of flavors akin to apple juice, bubble gum, and Nerds.

Whitmer's executive authority as governor allowed her to implement a six-month ban on the sale of flavored e-cig products.

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