After failing in the Michigan Supreme Court TWICE, Gov. Whitmer tries ban vaping again
Just two weeks ago on September 18, the Michigan Supreme Court denied Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency order to enact a ban on the sales of flavored vapes statewide. Her original reasoning behind the ban – which she first enacted way back in September 2019 – was the so-called teen vaping epidemic and the alleged surge in diagnoses of a mysterious lung disorder called EVALI.
The Michigan Supreme Court wasn’t buying it, stating in court documents, “The court is not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this court.” Perhaps their decision had something to do with the acknowledgement of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in November of that same year that EVALI is not caused by nicotine-based vapes.
Then last Friday, Whitmer was dealt a second political blow by the state’s highest court in as many weeks. In March 2020, Whitmer had issued several other executive orders declaring a state of emergency surrounding the then-newly-discovered coronavirus pandemic. She shut schools, churches, restaurants, bars, and other small businesses.
On October 2, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Whitmer again. "We conclude that the Governor lacked the authority to declare a 'state of emergency' or a 'state of disaster' under the EMA after April 30, 2020, on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the court ruled by a 4-3 margin.
Whitmer’s war on vaping continues: No more ‘emergency orders’
One might assume that if a United States governor were to be rejected by her state Supreme Court not once but twice in a two-week timeframe, she might want to rethink her legislative objectives. Not Governor Whitmer. She’s pushing ahead like a bull in a China shop.
But this time, instead of going with an emergency executive order, she’s decided to persuade the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to request a new rule which would implement a complete ban on the sales of flavored vapes. Nicotine flavors would be exempt, but if enacted, the new rule would likely put most Michigan vapes shop out of business.
It would also open the doors widely to the black market, the very same vendors who are responsible for the outbreak of the EVALI disorder that Whitmer was originally so strongly fighting against. In February 2020, the CDC publicly acknowledged that EVALI is caused by contraband THC cartridges containing vitamin E acetate. Nicotine-based vapes had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
But if Whitmer criminalizes these conventional vapor products, then they, too, will be susceptible to nefarious black market practices. The risks to public health for both teens and adults using vaping products to help them quit smoking will immediately and substantially rise to alarming proportions.
However, all hope is not yet lost. The MDHHS will be accepting public comments during an open hearing slated for October 20, 2020. The vaping advocacy group CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association) is issuing a nationwide call-to-action urging vaping enthusiasts and businesses alike to get involved.
Related Article: What is synthetic nicotine, and can it save vaping?
(Image courtesy of YouTube/C-SPAN)