While it seems citizens of The United States are caught up in the “vaping” craze, Michigan will become the first state to outlaw the selling or use of flavored vaping products. Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer claims the new legislation is targeted at protecting underage people in the state. However, there are many groups and citizens who are strongly against this new ban. They raise many concerns for their side of the argument, as Gretchen Whitmer, and her supporters, do for theirs.
Through Whitmer’s legislation, this state-wide ban on all flavored nicotine products intended for “vaping” shall be imposed by the Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services. Not only will this new law prohibit the retail of flavored nicotine products, but online sales to the state of Michigan will be prohibited, as well. This move comes by way of Michigan’s Administrative Rules Process, which allows various state agencies to turn policies and regulations into law, as opposed to being brought on by Whitmer’s executive order allowances.
Once this vaping plan is filed and complete, which will only take a few weeks, the ban will take immediate effect throughout the state of Michigan. Businesses who sell products of this type will have only 30 days to comply with the new legislation. Initially, the ban will last for no less than six months, but could very well be extended. Whitmer insists that companies who are selling candy-flavored vaping products intend on getting underage children hooked on potentially dangerous nicotine products.
The governor of Michigan also asserts that these products, despite their “health benefits” which have been touted, as opposed to smoking traditional cigarettes or other tobacco products, are misleading to the general public, especially the youth in the state. Following Gretchen Whitmer’s beliefs, the state health agency has ruled that common practice of “vaping” amongst adolescents in constituting a public health emergency.
E-cigarettes and vaping devices have been known to cause a vast amount of lung illnesses since being introduced to the market. The CDC (United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention) is currently investigating the national spike in “vape” related lung illnesses. To date, e-cigarettes have been believed to have negatively affected the lung health of an astounding 215 people in American, and as of August 27, 2019, at least one person has died as a result. In the last week alone, the Michigan Health Department announced that it was looking into six lung infections which were brought on as a result of vape & e-cig use.
The Food and Drug Administration of the United States said, in the year 2018, that over 3.5 million adolescents used electronic cigarettes. In the years 2013 and 2014, it was discovered that 81% of young “vapers” were mostly attracted to the practice by the wide range of flavor options available. Whitmer insists that the words used in advertising such as “healthy”, “clear”, and “safe” are misleading to users, especially those of a younger age.
The Attorney General of Michigan, Dana Nessel, commended Whitmer on her announcement in a statement that was made on August 4, 2019, and pleaded with members of her department to enforce the new ban on flavored e-cig and “vape” products. Nessel restated the figure: more than 1.5 million students had taken up the use of these products in only one year and assured that Whitmer’s bold actions are exactly the type of emergency measures the state of Michigan needed to take to protect children from danger.
While Gretchen Whitmer’s actions have been praised overall, both by fellow members of the Democrat party and health organizations around the state of Michigan and throughout the United States, vaping advocates have vowed to challenge her ban on flavored nicotine products. They, along with George Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, see this ban as a shameless attempt at prohibition that will destroy hundreds of small businesses in Michigan and could cause former smokers in the state to return to the consumption of traditional cigarettes.
He further asserted that the businesses and their customers will not be willing to go down without a fight. Instead of helping the residents of Michigan, Conley believes that Whitmer’s ban will bring into power a multi-million-dollar black market in the state, and perhaps, around the country if similar legislation catches on.