Michigan Becomes First State To Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's decision will prohibit sweet, fruity and menthol e-cigarettes, which studies say are more likely to get young people hooked on vaping.

As concerns mount about the potential health impacts of vaping, particularly on teenagers, Michigan has announced a statewide ban ― both in stores and online ― on all flavored electronic cigarettes, including sweet, fruity and menthol varieties.

Michigan is the first state to prohibit flavored e-cigarettes, which preliminary studies have shown are more likely to get young people hooked on vaping, according to The Washington Post.

The ban is expected to go into effect in a few weeks after it’s filed with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office, a spokesperson for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) told the Detroit Free Press. The prohibition will last for six months, the newspaper said, with the option to be renewed for an additional six months.

During this period, the state’s health department plans to develop regulations to permanently ban flavored e-cigarettes, the Post reported, citing Whitmer’s aides.

“My number one priority is keeping our kids safe and protecting the health of the people of Michigan,” the governor told the paper on Tuesday of her decision to impose the ban, which also restricts the use of misleading descriptions like “safe” and “healthy” to advertise vaping products.

Whitmer noted that she’d been compelled to take action after the state Department of Health and Human Services declared vaping among young people a public health emergency.

Several U.S. cities have also taken steps in recent months to place limits on vaping.

San Francisco in June became the first major city to ban the sale of all e-cigarettes. Last week, Boulder, Colorado, finalized a ban on flavored e-cigarette products. Sacramento, California, has also approved a similar ban.

In March, the Food and Drug Administration proposed restricting the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, except for menthol, mint and tobacco flavors.

“Evidence shows that youth are especially attracted to flavored e-cigarette products and that minors are able to access these products from both brick-and-mortar retailers as well as online, despite federal restrictions on sales to anyone under 18,” Scott Gottlieb, the outgoing FDA commissioner, said at the time.

The FDA proposal has not been finalized.

CORRECTION: Michigan’s ban did not take effect this week as a previous version of this article suggested. It is expected to go into effect in a few weeks and will last for six months with the option of being renewed for an additional six months.

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