Guv says no to sales, ads
Yesterday, September 3, 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored vaping products in retail stores and online, making Michigan the first state in the nation to ban flavored vaping products.
Also banned is any misleading marketing of vaping products, including the use of terms like “clean,” “safe,” and “healthy” that perpetuate beliefs that these products are harmless. The Michigan Department of Transportation is also ordered by the Governor to enforce an existing statute to prohibit the advertising of vapor products on billboards.
“As governor, my number one priority is keeping our kids safe,” said 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. Our kids deserve leaders who are going to fight to protect them. These bold steps will finally put an end to these irresponsible and deceptive practices and protect Michiganders’ public health.”
Rachel Uganski is part of the Headway Coalition a group of community partners working together for substance abuse prevention. She serves as the Project Coordinator for our local Drug Free Communities program.
“Our schools and communities have seen dramatic rises in the youth vaping epidemic in the last two years, said Ms. Uganski. “This legislation is a huge win to protect our kids against the harmful effects of these products.
“We commend Governor Whitmer’s efforts to protect our kids. Nicotine and vaping products have negative effects on brain development and lung health. We are proud that Michigan is leading the pack to prioritize kids over profits.”
According to figures released by the governors office e-cigarette use spiked 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018, In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. kids, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students were regular users. These rates are still climbing, likely fueled by the availability of flavors akin to apple juice, bubble gum, and Nerds.
Dr Jennifer Morse is the Medical Director for District Health Department # 10.
“Flavors make vaping more attractive to kids and some flavored e-cigarettes, particularly those with cinnamon, vanilla, fruit, popcorn, caramel, and coffee flavors, have been found to be more irritating and toxic to our airways,” she stated. “With over 200 illnesses and one death associated to vaping identified so far, with no one single common factor other than vaping identified, all vaping with or without flavored liquids should be seen as dangerous.”
Vaping products have had an easy run with research and legislation tending to trail behind marketing thus far. But for now the order follows one of the primary strategies of substance abuse prevention.