Michigan is now the first state to ban flavored electronic cigarettes amid rising health concerns for vaping and underage use.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, September 3, that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the ban in response to increased vaping in youth. The prohibition will apply to flavored vape products both online and in stores that many believe are used to entice younger users. Many vape products sell flavors such as candy, fruit, beverages, and desserts.
“My number one priority is keeping our kids safe and protecting the health of the people of Michigan,” she told the Washington Post.
According to the Post, the ban will go into effect within the next month or so, after the health department issues rules. The ban will last for six months with the ability to be renewed every six months.
Unflavored ecigarettes are not a part of the ban and will still be sold in the state. However, Whitmer told the Post that e-cigarette companies, in general, mislead users by saying that their products are “safe” and “healthy” compared to regular cigarettes.
Just last week, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued an announcement warning people of the possibly dangerous effects of ecigarettes. According to the CDC, as of August 27, 215 possible vaping-related respite diseases have been reported spanning 25 states. The CDC warned minors, pregnant woman, young adults, and those who don’t use tobacco to stay away from vaping products.
Separately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also looking into reports that ecigarette use could be linked to seizures or other neurological symptoms. The FDA will begin to regulate ecigarettes in 2021.
Although Michigan is the first state to ban ecigarettes, back in June, San Francisco became the first city to entirely ban all ecigarette sales, flavored or otherwise. San Francisco Mayor London Breed also attributed the ban to health concerns and targeted marketing to minors.
There are currently 18 states and 480 localities that enforce Tobacco 21 laws, meaning only those 21 and over can purchase tobacco-related products, which includes ecigarettes. Michigan is not one of the 18 states, but the city of Ann Arbor and Genesse County are localities in Michigan that enforce Tobacco 21.
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