Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is offering three emergency rules today banning all flavored vaping products from Michigan shelves amid what Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaidum believes is a youth vaping “public health emergency.”
“This is a health crisis and in a health crisis, I have the ability to take action and we’re taking it,” Whitmer said during a sit down with WLNS TV-6 and FOX-2 in her executive office late yesterday afternoon to map out her attack on “unsuspecting” young persons.
“There are 13 year olds who are vaping fruit loops right now. They are doing life-long damage and have no idea they are engaging in a substance that they’re going to be addicted to maybe for the rest of their lives,” she said.
The Governor said she is the nation’s first chief executive to move against the vaping industry, which she described as “an industry notorious for deceiving the public and for putting their bottom line before the public health.”
Her three-step ban includes taking all flavored e-cigarettes and vaporizing products off the shelves, including such flavors as bubble gum and apple sauce. She is going after the marketing strategies that she argues “are focusing on our kids and they are targeting and making money off of them and they’re hurting them.” She reported products are sold next to candy on the store shelves.
The Governor’s unprecedented action comes after she signed legislation earlier this year that bans the sale of vaping products to teenagers 17 and under (See “Bills Banning Kids From Buying E-Cigs Signed With ‘Significant Reservations,'” 6/4/19).
Whitmer said the extra steps are needed “because (the law) is not being enforced and they (the products) are widely available. That’s the problem.” She will eventually ask lawmakers to codify her temporary emergency action.
The American Vaping Association is fighting efforts like these across the nation and in a statement issued prior to the governor’s latest move, the AVA argued, “there is the complete absence of evidence showing harm from e-cigarette vapors (and the product) “is a healthy alternative to tobacco products.”
The Governor’s actions impact both minors and adults, who will still apparently have access to so-called tobacco vaping devices.
Asked about a potential legal challenge, the Governor, a lawyer by trade, shot back, “bring it on . . . trust me. I have run all the traps to make sure this is squarely within our power. This is something where we’re going to be a national leader and considerably better off for it.”
Whitmer confirmed she ran this past Attorney General’s office after first consulting with her own legal advisor along with “industry experts to public health experts. We talked to all the legal minds to make sure we’re on firm ground and we are.”
The mother of two teenage daughters, the Governor is especially concerned about “kids who are going to be compromised forever because of one company that wants to make some money and falsely advertised and got them addicted to a drug.”
Source : MIRS Breaking News: Gov To Order All Flavored Vaping Products Off Shelves, September 4, 2019.