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Friday, September 20, 2019

Don't go back to cigarettes. There's a loophole in Michigan's e-cigarette ban

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 11:06 AM

click to enlarge Flavored vape liquids at Detroit Smoke and Vape in Midtown. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Flavored vape liquids at Detroit Smoke and Vape in Midtown.

Michigan’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes provides a loophole for people worried about reverting back to cigarettes.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ban only applies to flavored nicotine. That means people may still buy vape liquids and pods that are free of nicotine. And for about $5, they can buy a flavorless nicotine packet and dump it into a bottle of vape liquid.

The ban no longer prohibits possession of flavored nicotine; it only prohibits the sale of it.

Since the process will make it more difficult for children to get their hands on both vape liquid and nicotine packets, Whitmer’s ban still has its intended impact. And for vapors who feared reverting back to cigarettes, they still have a way to vape flavored nicotine.

“It’s not great, but it’s better than prohibition,” Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, tells Metro Times. “People need to know they don’t have to go back to smoking cigarettes.”

But there is a caveat: Nicotine-free vape products can no longer include imagery of flavors. That means no more packaging with images of fruit, desserts, and candy.

Whitmer filed emergency orders Wednesday, officially banning flavored nicotine products like pods and liquid. Under the ban, businesses were given 14 days to comply.

At least one vape juice maker is planning to file suit against the governor, arguing the governor does not have the authority to unilaterally ban flavored e-liquid without legislative approval. In addition, they claim Whitmer does not have the legal basis to file emergency rules because she's failed to demonstrate that vaping constitutes a public health emergency.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, says she's prepared to defend Whitmer's ban.

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