Gov. wants vaping ban sent to state Supreme Court

Michigan

Vaping (KSN File Photo)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer doesn’t want to wait around while her ban on the sale of flavored vaping products works its way through the courts.

On Friday, she filed a request to bypass the appeals court and send the matter straight to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Earlier this month, a Court of Claims judge blocked the ban, saying that the state couldn’t justify its claims of a health emergency because it waited a year to move.

Whitmer was not at all happy with the ruling, saying the judge was undercutting experts. Her court request says the judge “misunderstood the law,” “errantly issued a preliminary injunction” and “compromised both the public health of this state and the existing core and critical power of the executive branch.”

The governor ordered the ban Sept. 4 and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services rolled it out about two weeks later. Businesses were given 14 days to comply. With the injunction, they were allowed to put flavored products back on shelves.

“After seeing how the Flint water crisis was mishandled, it’s more important than ever that we listen to our public health officials when they make recommendations to protect our citizens,” Whitmer said in a Friday statement. “Our Chief Medical Officer has found that the explosive increase in youth vaping that we’ve seen over the past few years is a public health emergency. For the sake of our kids and our overall public health, we must act swiftly to get these harmful and addictive products off the market. I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will immediately take up this case so we can ensure our kids’ safety.”

MDHHS: NICOTINE, THC, VITAMIN E ACETATE IN VAPING PRODUCTS

Also Friday, MDHHS released findings of testing on vaping products used by five Michigan residents who reported lung illnesses.

The MDHHS said the federal Food and Drug Administration found that two of the patients’ products contained only nicotine, one had only THC (the chemical that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects), one had both THC and nicotine, and the final had THC and vitamin E acetate.

Hundreds of cases of lung illnesses linked to vaping have been reported across the country, some of which have been deadly, including one case in Michigan. Federal authorities are still working out what exactly is causing the problems, and one thought is that a main issue may be contaminants in THC vaping products, including the vitamin E acetate.

MDHHS’s chief medical officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, urged people in a statement “not to use e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly those containing THC.”

It urged anyone trying to quit smoking by turning to e-cigarettes to instead call 700.QUIT-NOW (784.8669), and that teens working to stop smoking or vaping to call 855.891.9989.

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