LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D.) tapped into her authority as the chief executive officer for the state to issue a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. The ban will expire in six months. According to a report appearing on CNBC, the governor banned flavored e-cigarettes, or vape pens, because experts believe the flavors attract teens to vaping. The governor’s executive order also prohibits vape companies from describing their products that indicate the product is not dangerous or has proven to be a healthy alternative to smoking. The governor expressed hope that the Michigan legislature will follow her lead on this emerging health crisis and outlaw flavored e-cigarettes entirely.
Michigan is the first state to outlaw the sale of flavored vaping products. The prohibition extends to in-store as well as online sales of vaping products. The governor’s executive order prohibits not only the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products but also limits the ways vaping companies can market their goods. The governor’s order prohibits vape companies from using misleading characterizations of e-cigarette products such as “clean,” “healthy,” “safe,” “harmless” or any other descriptive words that could mislead consumers into believing that the products are safe for consumption.
The ban, which is in place for six months, can be renewed for another six months if the Michigan legislature refuses to adopt the governor’s executive order as a state law. The governor described the issue as “too important” not to act on.
Doctors are not sure why 215 people have fallen ill from mysterious lung ailments in 25 states so far, although the number could be higher. No one product appears to be the culprit in causing these illnesses; however, the CDC declared that many of the patients said they used cannabis-based vaping products.
Companies who produce vaping accessories could join together to fight the ban. They claim that such a ban could turn ex-smokers who rely on e-cigarettes to curb their addiction back to traditional smoking.
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