Last week, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer made Michigan the first state in the nation to ban flavored nicotine vaping products.
After her Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, made a finding that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency, Governor Whitmer ordered the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to issue emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products in retail stores and online, and ban misleading marketing of vaping products, including the use of terms like “clean,” “safe,” and “healthy” that perpetuate beliefs that these products are harmless.
The governor also ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to enforce an existing statute to prohibit the advertising of vapor products on billboards.
“Governor Whitmer has taken bold and appropriate action in response to the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “In the absence of robust regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, we know shockingly little about the health impact of e-cigarettes being widely marketed to youth and adults. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses associated with e-cigarette use has only added to the uncertainty and increased the need for immediate action. What we do know is nicotine is highly addictive and has adverse effects on the developing brain, and flavors strongly appeal to youth.”
From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use spiked 78 percent among high school students and 48 percent among middle school students. In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. kids, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students were regular users.
Boyne City Gazette asked 13 readers for their opinions on vaping and the recent vaping ban. Following are their responses.
Donald Towns: The ban of the flavors, to me, is okay. Just like in the past, Camel had flavored smokes. They got banned because it was “too appealing” to youth. Same goes to vape products. I know people that started doing it, being nonsmokers, just for the flavor and trend. That’s 30-plus-year-olds. I know kids are doing the same.
Jarica Peck: The ban, to me, is ludicrous. People should have the right to be able to make the decision to vape for themselves.
Life is about choices, and if that’s one they want to make, then let them. I do not feel as if it’s right to tell people what they can and can’t do with their own body.
If they are of legal age and they want to inhale smoke or vapor, then let them. It’s just like if someone is over 21—they have the legal right to consume alcohol regardless of the type or flavor.
It should be the same for vape products. Let people make their own choices and decide for themselves.
Valerie Loranger: Shouldn’t we be more concerned about how it’s okay to have methadone clinics?
Heroin is an epidemic and people are crying about vape pens?
Put THC in them all so your kids don’t try to numb their reality when you take rebellion stuff away? Like a vape?
I could go on for days. Blinded by the TV glow we are.
Matthew Brong: This is government overreach, pure and simple.
If the people of Michigan want something banned, the process for that is a bill being introduced in, and passed through, the state legislature.
After approval there, it then goes to the governor to be enacted and signed into law.
An order banning legal sales through executive fiat reeks of tyranny.
There are various medical conditions that benefit from nicotine. Adult Michiganders should be free to choose their own nicotine intake and how it might be flavored. I’m reminded of a quote by C.S. Lewis—“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of Earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
Robert Dudd: I agree with Michael Bloomberg. The flavored E-cigarettes are targeting kids. Evil!
Donna Grams: They should never have been allowed in the first place. I agree.
Anne Baic: Vaping is not healthy. I choose not to partake. But I will not support legislation to protect others from this (poor) choice.
Lauren Coolman: Completely ridiculous. She caught her child with a THC cartridge, not a nicotine flavored vape. Adults love flavors as well. She’s just gonna push people back to cigarettes that have switched to something healthier, while doing nothing that actually helps keep THC cartridges out of kids hands. This has all been a bunch of knowledgeless fear mongering.
Laura Gregware: I don’t remember voting for anything to banned. Are we back in the times of kings and queens where one person decides what’s “best” for everybody?
Richard L. Fish: They, in any form, should have never been allowed to market any form of vaping. You can’t inhale any foreign substance and not put your health at risk.
Kim Brown: Bad product, but she overstepped her authority!
Michael Brown: I think she has wasted our time and will cost some of our vape businesses their livelihood. Kids are smart enough today to circumvent this and order online. It isn’t going to make them quit vaping. She should have banned tobacco instead. Another example of government overstepping their authority. We all make choices. She chose for us! George Orwell was right.
Gaeyle Gerrie-Boss: And yet pot is legal. The world is upside down.