Gov. Whitmer asks Michigan Supreme Court to restore ban on flavored vaping products

Posted at 11:51 AM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 21:57:29-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ/AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking the state's supreme court to restore a temporary ban of flavored vaping products.

In September, Michigan became the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, but in October, a judge blocked the ban with a preliminary injunction.

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens issued a preliminary injunction, saying Whitmer's administration's delay in implementing the ban undercut its position that emergency rules were needed.

According to the governor's office, she appealed the ruling, but the judge and the court of appeals denied requests to reinstate the ban while the appeal goes through the court system. Now, she's asking the Supreme Court to give it immediate consideration.

“As governor, it’s my responsibility to respond quickly and effectively to public health emergencies,” Whitmer said in a release. “Our chief medical officer made it very clear that youth vaping is a public health emergency and we must do everything within our power to protect kids from its harmful effects. The trial judge wrongly second-guessed the expert judgment of our state’s top public health officials and set a dangerous precedent that undermines the ability of state government to respond swiftly to public health emergencies. This ruling cannot be allowed to stand, especially in the state that experienced the Flint Water Crisis. I ask the Supreme Court to take immediate action.”

Stephens also says there is evidence that if flavored vaping products are prohibited, adults will return to using more harmful combustible tobacco products.

The lawsuit was filed by vaping businesses that say they will go out of business due to the ban.

Whitmer has said the ban is necessary to combat an epidemic of teens vaping.