Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency rules banning flavored vaping products were released on Wednesday and are effective immediately, according to an announcement from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).
All retailers and resellers will have 14 days to comply with the new rules, including online sellers.
The statement on Wednesday cites the U.S. surgeon general’s declaration of youth vaping as an “epidemic,” as well as rising percentages of middle school and high school students using e-cigarettes as rationale for the vaping ban.
Whitmer took the action to ban flavored vaping products after having signed two pieces of legislation in June that outlawed the sale of all vaping products to minors. Whitmer, however, said at the time that she didn’t feel the bills went far enough to protect Michigan youth from nicotine addiction.
The legislation also failed to classify e-cigarettes as “tobacco products,” and thus are not taxed at the same rate as traditional cigarettes.
Michigan became the first state to introduce a vaping ban when Whitmer announced her plans to do so on Sept. 4. Since then, the White House and two other states are looking into doing the same.
“I’m proud that Michigan has been a national leader in protecting our kids from the harmful effects of vaping,” Whitmer said in a statement.
The emergency rules will be effective for 180 days, after which they can be extended to six months. MDHHS says it has put forth a filing that would let the department enact more permanent rules.
A GOP-led House committee heard testimony on the ban last week, but the Legislature lacks any formal power to block the action because of the DHHS emergency designation.