Michigan to be 1st State to Ban Flavoured E-Cigarettes

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The Governor of Michigan is moving to make her state the first to ban flavoured electronic cigarettes.

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer ordered the state health department to issue emergency rules that will prohibit the sale and misleading marketing of flavoured nicotine vaping products.

Retailers would have 30 days to comply with the rules once they are filed in coming weeks.

They will almost certainly be challenged in court.

Whitmer is accusing companies of using candy flavours and deceptive advertising to "hook children on nicotine."

"Right now, companies selling vaping products are using candy flavours to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe. That ends today," Whitmer said in a written statement.

New York last November began taking steps to bar the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes but withdrew proposed rules to allow more time for legal review.

The federal government and states ban the sale of vaping products to minors, but government survey figures show that last year, one in five U.S. high school students reported vaping in the previous month.

Top government health officials, including the surgeon general, have flagged the trend as an epidemic.

As of last week, 215 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes had been reported by 25 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Michigan officials are investigating six such cases.

Illinois health officials last month said a patient who contracted a serious lung disease after vaping died; they considered it the first death in the United States linked to the smoking alternative that has become popular with teens and young adults.

Whitmer's announcement drew praise from public health groups and criticism from groups that advocate for vaping as an alternative to smoking.