Michigan has become the first state to ban flavored e-cigarette products, which critics say have led to an increase in youth smoking in recent years.
The ban, first reported by The Washington Post, was instated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. It covers online and retail sales of any sweet, fruity, minty or menthol vaping products.
The ban, which covers both retail and online sales, goes into effect immediately and will last for six months, and can be renewed for another six months. In the meantime, state officials said, they will develop permanent regulations banning flavored e-cigarettes. The state legislature could try to block those rules, but such legislation would face a veto, they added.
The ban does not extend to tobacco flavored e-cigarette products.
Whitmer's office issued a media release announcing the ban Wednesday morning.
After her Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, made a finding that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency, Governor Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products in retail stores and online, and ban misleading marketing of vaping products, including the use of terms like “clean,” “safe,” and “healthy” that perpetuate beliefs that these products are harmless.
“As governor, my number one priority is keeping our kids safe,” said Governor Whitmer. “And right now, companies selling vaping products are using candy flavors to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe. That ends today."