LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took several steps on Wednesday to remove flavored nicotine vaping products from backbars across Michigan.
On Sept. 4, Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products in retail stores and online, and ban misleading marketing of vaping products, including the use of terms like "clean," "safe" and "healthy" that perpetuate beliefs that these products are harmless, according to the governor's office.
The governor also ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to enforce an existing statute to prohibit the advertising of vapor products on billboards.
Her directives came after the state's chief medical examiner, Joneigh Khaldun, made a finding that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency.
"As governor, my No. 1 priority is keeping our kids safe," Whitmer said. "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."
Three months ago, Whitmer signed Senate Bills 106 and 155, which clarify that it is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes and other non-traditional nicotine products to minors.
At the time, she criticized the legislation for not going far enough to protect Michigan's minors from nicotine addiction, calling the marketing, packaging, and taste of e-cigarettes a "bait-and-switch" engineered to "create new nicotine addicts."