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A First: Entire State Will Ban Flavored E-Cigs

Michigan will institute emergency ban
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2019 11:48 AM CDT
In this Feb. 20, 2014, file photo, a patron exhales vapor from an e-cigarette at a store in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

(Newser) – Flavored e-cigarettes are controversial due to how attractive they are to teens—but until now, no state had actually banned them. That changed Wednesday as Michigan became the first to announce it will be barring their sale. The ban won't actually go into effect until the state health department issues new rules, which could take up to 30 days, the Washington Post reports. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the health department recently determined youth vaping is a public health emergency, and she ordered it to create emergency rules that will last six months and can be renewed for six more, CNBC reports. The health department will simultaneously be working on permanent regulations to ban sales of the e-cigs. Several cities and communities, including San Francisco, have moved to institute similar bans or restrictions.

The ban will cover sweet flavors like bubblegum that, Whitmer says, draw young people in, as well as mint and menthol flavors. Tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes will not be banned. Whitmer is also restricting the marketing of e-cigarettes as "clean," "safe," "healthy," and other similar terms. Vaping advocates warned the move could create a black market for e-cigarettes, shut down hundreds of small businesses in the state, and cause tens of thousands of former smokers to go back to traditional cigarettes. The American Vaping Association has promised lawsuits to come. But the chief executive of the American Heart Association praised the move, noting that "in the absence of robust regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, we know shockingly little about the health impact of e-cigarettes being widely marketed to youth and adults." (Read more e-cigarettes stories.)

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