Consumer Choice Champions: The Legislators Fighting Michigan Governor’s Vape Ban

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.

Michigan’s Vape Ban Will Bring Severe Consequences For Consumers

Yaël Ossowski
Deputy Director
Consumer Choice Center

Michigan’s Vape Ban Will Bring Severe Consequences For Consumers

Lansing, MI –  On Wednesday, the state of Michigan took the unprecedented step of outlawing the sale of all vaping and e-cigarette products, depriving millions of Michiganders of the opportunity to switch away from more harmful methods of consuming nicotine.

The ban is the first of its kind in the United States, and comes in response to what officials describe as a teen vaping “crisis”, as well as documented cases of hospitalizations due to black market cannabis vape cartridges that do not contain nicotine.

Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director of the Consumer Choice Center, responded to the ban by stating that it will immediately bring severe consequences to consumers in the Great Lake State.

“Bad actors in the vaping industry must and should be held accountable. But a blanket ban of all vape devices and liquids, which are used overwhelmingly by former smokers as a method to quit, is pure madness and will harm consumers,” said Ossowski.

“Responsible vapers will now be forced to shop outside the state or, unfortunately, buy their products on the black market.

“The bigger issue now is that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has, with the stroke of a pen, created the largest-ever black market for vape devices in the entire country,” said Ossowski.

“Whereas before the sale and distribution of vaping liquids and devices could be regulated via licensed stores and responsible sellers, now it will be a free-for-all that the state won’t be able to control.

“This will invite even more dangerous oil and liquid combinations sold on the street as opposed to regulated products sold in stores, which will harm adult consumers,” said Ossowski.

“No one wants teens to be vaping, and we should make sure of that. The latest CDC figures show that 20.8% of high schoolers have vaped at least once in the last 30 days. But nearly half of those were vaping cannabis rather than nicotine, cartridges often purchased illegally on the black market instead of via established outlets.

“We should not use isolated cases caused by illegal products to inform public policy on the life-saving capabilities of vaping devices for adults. That is bad science and bad public policy.

“There is more we can do to stop youth vaping, but we must preserve this technology as a tool for adults to consume their nicotine in a less harmful fashion,” said Ossowski.

A Consumer Choice Center survey from March 2019 found that two-thirds of Americans agree that they should have the freedom of choice to buy e-cigarettes if they believe they are a lower health risk to them than tobacco.

More information on harm reduction is available on our website.

***CCC Deputy Director Yaël Ossowski is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

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