Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a ban on the sale of all flavored e-cigarette products in the state. The action makes Michigan the first state to enact a ban on these products, though other jurisdictions, including the city of San Francisco, have had similar restrictions in effect since last year.
Flavored e-cigarette products have been the target of lawmakers and regulatory agencies for years as evidence has mounted that kids tend to be drawn to flavored products and vaping was on the rise among adolescents and teens. Last year, the US surgeon general declared youth vaping an epidemic.
“My number one priority is keeping our kids safe and protecting the health of the people of Michigan,” Whitmer said in an interview with The Washington Post, which first reported the ban. The ban is effective immediately, reports the Post, and it will be in effect for the next six months while Michigan lawmakers work to put more permanent restrictions in place. It covers all sales in the state, both online and in stores, and business owners will have 30 days to comply.
In addition to targeting all points of sale in the state, the Michigan ban encompasses all flavors of e-cigarette, including mint and menthol, making it far more comprehensive than restrictions announced by the Food and Drug Administration last year. The guidelines announced by the FDA prohibit the sale of most flavored products in places where people under 18 can shop. But they don’t ban them outright, and they still allow flavors like mint and menthol to be sold on shelves.
The flavor ban will hurt the whole vaping industry in Michigan, many ejuice manufacturers there will be shut down, retail stores cannot sell flavored ejuice any more and they will lose a huge income, while for the vapers, thousands of them will get back to smoke out of very limited flavor choice.
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