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Michigan judge blocks the state's e-cigarette ban

Posted at 9:37 PM, Oct 15, 2019

Michigan became the first state to last month to ban flavored e-cigarette sales, but that change may be reversed.

A judge on Michigan's Court of Claims issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday blocking the state from enforcing the temporary six-month ban of flavored e-cigarettes.

"We are resolute in our efforts on behalf of Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services to protect the health of Michigan's children," Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement . "The youth vaping crisis is an urgent public health matter that demands immediate action."

The state will be appealing the judge's decision in the state Supreme Court, Nessel said.

The ruling is in response to a vape shop owner, Marc Slis, who filed a request for the injunction against the ban earlier this month. Slis operates 906 Vapor in Houghton, Michigan, on the state's Upper Peninsula.

Slis testified against the ban at a Michigan House committee meeting on September 12, saying that e-cigarettes helped him quit smoking after 41 years .

He called flavored e-cigarettes "life-saving" during the hearing and argued against the ban, which still went into effect.

Vaping under scrutiny

Michigan's temporary vaping ban went into effect last month, though retailers had until October 2 to comply. The ban would expire after six months, but the governor has the option to renew it. The ban applied to sales in brick-and-mortar stores and online.

"As governor, my number one priority is keeping our kids safe," Whitmer said in a statement when the ban was announced. "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. That ends today."

E-cigarettes have come under scrutiny in the last few months, as an increasing number of people have died from lung disease related to vaping. Walmart moved to ban the selling of e-cigarettes in September , and India announced a nationwide ban in September.

Flavored e-cigarettes have been specifically targeted, with critics saying the flavors target young people and get youth hooked on nicotine.

New York state banned most flavors of e-cigarettes last month, as part of an effort to reduce the number of children who vape.