Health Care

MI set to become first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

MI set to become first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes”

As of today, MI is the first state in the entire nation to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

The ban gives sellers 30 days to comply and lasts six months - though the governor can decide to renew it.

"My number one priority is keeping our kids safe", said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a statement.

MI businesses have a month to comply with the new ban, although it was not clear at the time of publication what consequences - such as fines, license suspensions or other punitive measures - stores could face if they fail to do so. The American Vaping Association, a nonprofit that advocates for sensible regulation of vaping products, said the ban likely will be challenged in court.

In November, New York began taking steps to bar the sale of flavored e-cigarettes but withdrew proposed rules to allow more time for legal review.

The Washington Post reports that vaping lobbyists claim a black market will form in the wake of the ban.

"Youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion", said FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

But the rise of e-cigarettes has provoked mounting opposition from lawmakers.

More news: Two are hospitalized with vaping-related lung injuries in Stanislaus County

MI has joined a number of U.S. states and cities taking steps to block the sale of e-cigarettes.

In June, San Francisco's board of supervisors unanimously voted to make the city the first in the United States to effectively ban e-cigarette sales.

In late August, the state health department said it was looking into six lung infections reported in the state that investigators suspect are linked to use of vaping or e-cigarette devices.

The governor also prohibited what she called misleading descriptions of vapor products such as "clear", "safe" and "healthy" and ordered the enforcement of an existing ban on using billboards to advertise for e-cigarettes.

"We want to be the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America's youth to initiate on nicotine", the company said in a statement announcing the changes.

Defenders of e-cigarettes called the MI ban misguided, arguing that e-cigarettes are much less unhealthy than cigarettes.

Whitmer said e-cigarette companies are using fruity or sweet flavors to appeal to children, ostensibly to get them hooked on nicotine, with little knowledge of the long-term consequences.

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