In response to increased concerns about the growing popularity of vaping and E-cigs, some states are considering laws to prevent the sale of these products to minors or ban them entirely. Michigan has become the first state in the US to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, with the intent of making it less appealing to minors.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the state’s health department to issue an emergency ban on nicotine vaping products in stores and even online. A notice from the governor’s office also said that the government will be seeking to prevent e-cig companies from marking or advertising in the state.
Whitmer’s executive authority as governor allowed her to implement a six-month ban on the sale of flavored e-cig products. While the length of the ban is limited due to procedural law, it will be possible for the ban to be renewed for another six months once the current order is expired. In the meantime, she will be urging lawmakers in the state to write an official and permanent ban into law.
Whitmer told MSNBC that she would continue to impose the ban “unilaterally” until the state’s legislature passes a similar law.
Other jurisdictions and cities throughout the country have implemented similar bans, but this is the first statewide ban of its kind. Earlier this year, the city of San Francisco announced a new law that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes. A similar measure was passed this August in Boulder, Colorado.
E-cigarettes have become extremely popular in recent years because they are a safer alternative to cigarette smoke. In fact, many people have been able to quit smoking, and have experienced a noticeable improvement in health since switching to e-cigs. However, vaping is not entirely without risk. The New York Times reported that there is a mystery illness related to vaping, which experts are now considering an epidemic.
According to Dr. Melodi Pirzada, chief pediatric pulmonologist at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y, the symptoms of this mysterious illness include severe shortness of breath, vomiting, fever, and fatigue. In extreme cases, it could even lead to death. At least 205 cases of the mysterious illness have been reported in the US.
This mysterious illness was one of the reasons cited for the recent e-cig ban in the state of Michigan. However, representatives of the vaping industry believe that this could have the unintended consequence of sending people back to the more harmful traditional cigarettes that will still be readily available.
American Vaping Association President Gregory Conley suggests that the ban could send tens of thousands of ex-smokers back to combustible tobacco. Conley said that his organization is considering lawsuits to fight back against the ban.
However, some places are banning tobacco outright as well. Earlier this year, the sale of most tobacco products were banned in the affluent city of Beverly Hills, California. The Beverly Hills ban, which is the first of its kind in the United States, includes cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and electronic cigarettes.
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