Michigan Becomes the First State to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes


by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: February 11, 2022


Michigan bans the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes making it the first state in the US to declare such a ban. The flavor ban, which is an executive order of the state’s governor will be effective from the next 30 days.

Main Facts

  • Michigan bans the sale of all flavored e-liquid and vaping products in order to help curb teenage vaping
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says that the vaping companies mislead the young people by citing health benefits of using their products
  • The flavor ban received a mixture of feedback from the public with those for and against the ban holding strong stands for their reasons

Michigan on Wednesday Septemr 4-th became the first state in the US to ban the sale of flavored e-liquid and vaping products, a move the governor says is aimed at curbing teen and youth engagement with tobacco and its potentially harmful side effects.

The ban, which is an executive order, will last for a period of six months after which it can be renewed for another six months and gives retailers and online stores 30 days to clear their stock.

The actualization of the flavor ban will take effect once the health department issues rules that will govern the ban, speculatively anytime within the next 30 days.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in an interview with The Washington Post said that her order was after the state’s health department found out that youth vaping was on the brink of being a medical emergency. Though, she clarified too that the ban was not a retaliation of the outbreaks of lung injuries that are tied to black market THC oil cartridges.

Future of Sweet Vapor in Michigan

According to Whitmer, companies that produce e-cigarettes were using sweet flavors (candy, bubble gum) as a disguise to hook young people to nicotine. The ban also covers tobacco products with mint and menthol flavors too.

The flavor ban, however, does not extend to tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes meaning this will be the only available vaping option in Michigan.

The health department is confident that the regulations that they will develop would be a lasting solution to teen and youth vaping. Though, even if the legislature tries to block these rules, Veto powers of the governor would overrule their decision.

Even though Michigan becomes the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigs, there are some minor towns and cities that have tried too, to minimize the sale of e-cigarettes. A good example is the case of San Francisco that banned the sale and distribution of any type of e-cigarettes within the city.

With surveys showing that a huge percentage of adult vapers who quit smoking prefer fruity and dessert flavors as compared to the tobacco flavor, this means that this group of individuals will suffer a lot.
Even though the rules and guides of the ban are not yet ready, one is left to wonder whether they will specify or offer guidance on the flavors that can be infused with the tobacco flavor, of which the tobacco flavor is the least prevalent.

FDA outlined Misleading Labeling and Advertisement

Flavor Ban in Michigan: Public Reaction and Worries

The ban has received a mix of feelings from those for and those against vaping. Nancy Brown, chief executive of the American Heart Association, praised this ban calling it a bold and appropriate action.

In the absence of robust regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, we know shockingly little about the health impact of e-cigarettes being widely marketed to youth and adults

– she added

Leading against this flavor ban is American Vaping Association president Gregory Conley where in a press release stated,

This shameless attempt at backdoor prohibition will close down several hundred Michigan small businesses and could send tens of thousands of ex-smokers back to deadly combustible cigarettes. These businesses and their customers will not go down without a fight. We look forward to supporting the lawsuits that now appear necessary to protect the right of adults to access these harm reduction products.

In this country, laws are made by legislators, not governors desperate for press attention. Anyone who fears the prospect of an out of control government should be appalled by this attempt by the executive branch to unilaterally ban an adult product. Even more absurd, this ban attempt is coming just months after the Michigan Legislature wisely prohibited sales of vaping products to minors.

Expressing his concerns on the future of the market and the possibility of a rise in black market, he added,

ban will create a massive, multi-million dollar black market for these products, which are the same conditions that led to the recent spate of lung illnesses that are now clearly linked to illegal THC vaping products

– Governor Whitmer’s

It is upon the state’s health department to decide how soon the rules will be available, and how then will the ordinary adult that enjoyed flavored vape cope with the current situation. Don’t be indifferent if you have something to say about it. Public has right to protect own needs and prefences. Shre your thoughts. Are you ready to stay for you favorite flavor?

Published: September 9, 2019Updated: February 11, 2022

Jeffrey Buckley

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.


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