MI became the nation's first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes on Wednesday, a move meant to prevent young people from vaping.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to make the announcement Wednesday. "And right now, companies selling vaping products are using candy flavors to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe". Previous research also suggested that the majority of kids who have tried pod-based e-cigarettes started with one that was flavored.
What's more, public health officials and advocates suspect that e-cigarette companies are even knowingly targeting sweet-toothed youth with these flavors.
Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association, called the measure a "bold and appropriate" response "to the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use", noting the recent outbreak in illnesses associated with e-cigarettes.
"We've seen an explosive increase in the number of MI kids exposed to vaping products", said Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for MI.
The ban on flavored e-cigarettes has not yet been filed, but will be effective immediately once complete in a few weeks, Whitmer's spokesperson told the Free Press.
In June, San Francisco's board of supervisors unanimously voted to make the city the first in the U.S. to effectively ban e-cigarette sales.
In a statement, Whitmer said that her main priority when considering this move was keeping children safe.
The ban gives sellers 30 days to comply and lasts six months - though the governor can decide to renew it.
From 2017 to 2018, e-cigarette use spiked 78% among high school students and 48% among middle school students.
"We have already taken the most aggressive actions in the industry to keep our products out of the hands of those underage and are taking steps to do more". In 2018, more than 3.6 million USA kids, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students were regular users.
"This will close down several hundred MI small businesses and could send tens of thousands of ex-smokers back to deadly combustible cigarettes", reads a statement from the AVP.
"They are marketing bubble gum flavor, fruit-loops flavored, they've got one that looks like Mott's apple sauce, implying that it's a healthy alternative to, I suppose, smoking", said Whitmer.