Michigan has just become the first state in the U.S to prohibit e-cigarettes in an attempt to reduce vaping among young people. The ban will be put into effect in the next month; it will outlaw the selling of all flavoured vaping merchandise in stores as well as online.
“My number one priority is keeping our kids safe,” stated the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer.
The ban will be established for half a year, with the potential for prolongation. This move comes at a time when other efforts are being made against the vaping phenomenon. Whitmer also barred the deceptive marketing of vaping products, such as ads that depict vaping to be “clean”, “safe”, or “healthy”.
“We’ve seen an explosive increase in the number of Michigan kids exposed to vaping products,” says Joneigh Khaldun, the Chief Medical Executive for Michigan. “This is a public health crisis.”
E-cigarettes are trending
“Vapes” or electronic cigarettes have become increasingly popular over the last few years, particularly among youthful demographics. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed nearly an 80 percent rise in vape usage from students between 2017 and 2018. In 2018, more than 3.6 million teens were vaping, which according to the FDA, is a “sharp and startling reversal of overall declines” in the use of tobacco among the younger generations.
“Youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion,” says FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb.
However, the increased use of electronic cigarettes has created a rise in resistance from lawmakers.
Whitmer said, “Right now, companies selling vaping products are using candy flavours to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe. That ends today.”
Michigan has gotten on-board with several other states and cities that are aiming to restrict the sale of vaping products. June saw San Francisco leading the way by becoming the first U.S city to prohibit e-cigarette sales, and last week, Boulder, Colorado followed suit.
Popular e-cigarette manufacturer, Juul, said, “We want to be the off-ramp for adult smokers to switch from cigarettes, not an on-ramp for America’s youth to initiate on nicotine”.
The vaping industry leader shut down sales of many flavoured products last year and began refusing sales to persons under the age of 21 in an attempt to discourage the youth from picking up the habit.
Defending the e-cigarette market, the President of the American Vaping Associaton, Greg Conley, feels that the prohibition could ultimately cause more harm.
“This shameless attempt at backdoor prohibition will close down several hundred Michigan small businesses and could send tens of thousands of ex-smokers back to deadly combustible cigarettes,” said Conley.