Gov. Whitmer shows real leadership

Michigan will become the first state in the nation to ban flavored vape products in a move Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says is aimed at protecting youth.

The ban, which will be imposed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) through direction from Whitmer, prohibits online and retail sales of flavored nicotine vaping products.

The move comes not by executive order from Whitmer, but through Michigan’s administrative rules process, which allows state agencies to create regulations or policies that, once authorized, act as laws.

The vaping ban rule has not yet been filed, but will be effective immediately once complete in a few weeks, Whitmer’s spokesperson said. At that point, the ban will last six months, and will give Michigan businesses 30 days to comply.

The ban comes after the MDHHS found that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency for the state, according to a statement from Whitmer.

“As governor, my number one priority is keeping our kids safe,” Whitmer said in a statement. “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.”

Last week, MDHHS announced it was investigating six lung infections reported in the Lower Peninsula that were tied to e-cigarette and vape use.