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Governor Whitmer defends e-cigarette ban

Posted at 8:01 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-04 20:01:33-04

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer defended her decision Wednesday to ban flavored e-cigarettes in Michigan.

She issued the ban this morning and the industry promised a lawsuit soon after.

She said the problem starts with our kids, and that too many children are getting their hands on vape products.

"This is a health crisis now. It would never be permitted if it was cigarettes, but we're letting these companies target our kids appeal to our kids and deceive our children and they're showing up with respiratory illnesses that no one can explain," she said. "This is why we’re taking bold action here in Michigan. It's time for us to lead."

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, vape use increased by more than 78 percent in high schoolers from 2017 to 2018.

Whitmer says it's too easy for kids to gain access to e-cigarette products.

"I talked to my kids I asked them about vaping and they said so many kids in school are doing it, and they're using all these attractive candy flavors are sold right next to candy, and they're told that they're safe but they are not," said Whitmer.

The vaping industry is livid, saying the governor is way out of line.

"I think the governor can expect lawsuits opposing this, and quite honestly I think she should be afraid of keeping her job," said Alex Clark, CEO of Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association. "This is reckless and totally irresponsible."

Businesses that sell vape liquids will have 30 days to comply to the rules once they take effect.

That could happen in the next few weeks.

The new rules also ban the marketing of e-cigarettes as a healthy or cleaner alternative to smoking.

It comes just months after the State Legislature voted to ban sales of vaping products to minors.

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