Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on the Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday to encourage the court to take up the case against the governor’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes and vapes.
Whitmer filed a motion in late October to move a court case on vaping to the Michigan Supreme Court after the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned her ban on flavored vapes, saying it interfered with business interests in the state.
The governor attempted to appeal the overturn, but the judge and the Court of Appeals said it reinstated the ban once the appeal was decided. Whitmer then filed to take the case to the Michigan Supreme Court.
“As governor, it’s my responsibility to respond quickly and effectively to public health emergencies,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Our chief medical officer made it very clear that youth vaping is a public health emergency and we must do everything within our power to protect kids from its harmful effects.”
Michigan became the first state to attempt to ban flavored vapes in early October. Flavored e-cigarettes caught national attention after it was discovered vapes caused several thousand lung injuries and multiple deaths nationwide. Many experts pointed to the heavy use of flavored e-cigarettes as concerning, especially among youth.
As of December 10, nearly 2,500 people have been hospitalized with lung injuries cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC also said there have been 52 confirmed deaths in 26 states and Washington, D.C.
The national use of e-cigarettes with nicotine use jumped 78 percent in the last year, according to a statement from the governor’s office. This use includes one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students.
“The trial judge wrongly second-guessed the expert judgment of our state’s top public health officials and set a dangerous precedent that undermines the ability of state government to respond swiftly to public health emergencies,” Whitmer said. “This ruling cannot be allowed to stand, especially in the state that experienced the Flint Water Crisis. I ask the Supreme Court to take immediate action.”
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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]