Earlier this month, the state of Michigan took the unprecedented step of outlawing the sale of all vaping and e-cigarette products.
This move will deprive millions of Michiganders of the opportunity to switch away from more harmful methods of consuming nicotine.
Since the ban was announced unilaterally by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, several committee hearings have been held in the capital of Lansing to discuss the broader issue of vaping’s effects on health, nicotine, and teen access to these products.
Witnesses have provided testimony on the effectiveness of vaping products, how they saved their lives, and why a ban on flavors will directly lead to more harm for thousands of former smokers.
Once such testimony, by Mark Slis, a scientist, vape shop owner, and former smoker in Houghton County, has since gone viral.
Some lawmakers, as a result of these hearings, have taken it upon themselves to fight against the governor’s rash ban.
On Thursday, a bill was introduced in the Michigan State House of Representatives to rescind the ban and to limit the governor’s authority to carry out such orders without properly consulting the State Legislature.
Led by State Rep. Beau LaFave from the Upper Peninsula, the other co-sponsors on the bill were State Reps. Greg Markkanen, Steven Johnson, Matt Maddock, Gary Eisen, Jack O’Malley, Aaron Miller, and Luke Meerman.
“I am getting frustrated with the governor’s double-speak,” said primary bill sponsor LaFave. “First she said she was going to ban flavored e-cigarettes immediately, then after intense public pressure, she decided her administration would take two months to reevaluate. Unfortunately, New York has announced it will implement a similar ban. In a rush to be the first state in the nation to implement this stupid policy, the governor has changed her mind once again, and ordered all businesses to destroy millions of dollars in merchandise within 14 days.”
“I don’t care if the executive is a Republican or Democrat nor a governor or president,” said LaFave. “Bad public policies implemented without input from lawmakers should never be ignored. I urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to look at all the facts before we rush to judgement and put thousands of Michiganders out of work and force thousands more back to smoking combustible cigarettes.”
The bill has now been sent to the Committee on Government Operations and will be heard next week.