Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer officially released the emergency rules banning the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products. The rules went into effect immediately and will remain so for 180 days, with the option to extend the time by six months once the 180 days have elapsed. Retailers and resellers have 14 days to comply.
The vaping industry has anticipated these rules ever since the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Gov. Whitmer found flavored nicotine vaping a “public health emergency” and announced a complete ban on the sale of flavored vape products. The newly-filed rules represent the culmination of Gov. Whitmer’s intentions.
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“Today’s filing is necessary to protect the public health,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief
medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS. “Youth vaping is a
public health emergency and has been declared an epidemic by the U.S. surgeon
general. Nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful to developing brains and has dangerous
long-term health consequences such as heart disease and cancer.”
MDHHS also filed a “Request for Rule Making” with the EPA, which will allow Michigan to establish permanent rules that prevent the sale of flavored vape products. In the meantime, attempting to enforce the emergency rules and extending rules when the 180 days conclude is the extent of the department’s powers.
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Gov. Whitmer hopes that the example set by Michigan will inspire other governments to ban flavored vaping through “bold action.”
“I’m proud that Michigan has been a national leader in protecting our kids from the
harmful effects of vaping,” Whitmer said. “For too long, companies have gotten our kids
hooked on nicotine by marketing candy-flavored vaping products as safe. That ends
today. This bold action will protect our kids and our overall public health”
Gov. Whitmer’s office filed the restrictions despite criticism from Republicans and a potential challenge to the implementation of the rules.
“Gov. Whitmer’s declaration to ban an entire industry without public comment lacks the transparency that citizens deserve from their government” said Rep. Matt Hall said in a statement last week, echoing the frustrations of fellow Republicans who see the governor’s rules as a radical overstepping of bounds.
The governor took a victory lap last week when President Donald Trump announced plans to ban flavored vape products on a national scale, which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newson also took as license to propose their own bans on flavored vape products. Recent hysteria surrounding the use of e-cigarettes, which is based on debatable scientific conclusions, has galvanized support for flavored vaping bans that have the potential to destroy the fledgling vaping industry.