Calling a lower court ruling that overturned her ban on flavored nicotine vaping products “A dangerous precedent that undermines” the state’s ability to respond to emergencies, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is calling on the Michigan Supreme Court to take immediate action to restore the temporary ban she announced in September.
Today the Governor is asking the Supreme Court to counteract action taken by a Court of Claims judge who issued a ruling in October that lifted her ban, which she characterized as critical to addressing the youth vaping crisis currently afflicting the state. The governor had promptly appealed that ruling, but the judge and the Court of Appeals denied her requests to reinstate the ban until the appeal is decided. The governor has now taken that request to the Supreme Court and asked the Court to give it immediate consideration.
Whitmer says, “As governor, it’s my responsibility to respond quickly and effectively to public health emergencies,” and adds, “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.” She argues, “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.”
In September, after her Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, made a finding that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency, Governor Whitmer, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, issued emergency rules to ban the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products in retail stores and online.
Nationwide, nicotine e-cigarette use jumped 78-percent last year alone. 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. These rates are still climbing, likely fueled by the availability of flavors akin to apple juice, bubble gum, and Nerds. Stay tuned.