Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took action on Friday to move the court case on vaping bans from the Michigan Court of Appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court.
The move comes shortly after a judge from the court overturned the governor’s previous ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the state. Originally, the judge stopped the ban on account of it interfering with businesses in Michigan.
Whitmer said in a statement on Friday to let the judge’s ruling stand would “seriously undermine” her power to “respond to emergent threats to public health, safety and welfare.”
“After seeing how the Flint water crisis was mishandled, it’s more important than ever that we listen to our public health officials when they make recommendations to protect our citizens,” Whitmer said.
E-cigarette use has come under scrutiny in recent months, as the number for vape-related illnesses and death continue to climb. There have been more than 1,600 reported cases of lung illnesses related to vaping and 34 deaths, according to the latest reports from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
The use of nicotine e-cigarettes jumped 78 percent last year, and more than 3.6 million U.S. kids regularly used vapes in 2018.
Whitmer instituted a ban on flavored nicotine vapes in September after the Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun declared youth vaping as a public health emergency. The ban went into effect in early October.
The official filing to the Michigan Supreme Court asking them to take up the case says the court of claims “misunderstood the law” and “compromised both the public health of this state and the exercise of core and critical power of the executive branch.”
“For the sake of our kids and our overall public health, we must act swiftly to get these harmful and addictive products off the market,” Whitmer said. “I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will immediately take up this case so we can ensure our kids’ safety.”
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]
Photo “Michigan Supreme Court Judges” by the Michigan Courts.