Michigan just became the first US state to ban the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes in a bid to stop underage vaping.
The ban will include all in-store and online sales of e-cigarette flavourings, other than tobacco.
It comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control revealed it would be investigating nearly 200 reported cases of lung illnesses linked to vaping.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she signed the bills on Tuesday after the health state department branded teen vaping as an epidemic in the state.
As per People, she said:
My number one priority is keeping our kids safe and protecting the health of the people of Michigan.
She believes the ‘candy taste’ of e-cig flavourings like ‘Froot Loops, Fanta, and Nilla wafers’ is what is enticing teens and has led to a 20 per cent increase in teen vaping between 2017 and 2018.
On her announcement to Michigan state senators, Whitmer said:
Behind the candy taste, however, is a product that hooks kids and adults alike.
E-cigarettes can deliver nicotine more than twice as quickly as tobacco cigarettes.
She added that although e-cigs were made with the intention of giving smokers a way to avoid toxins in normal cigarettes, they have instead created millions of new smokers addicted to nicotine.
Today, that pitch looks like a bait-and-switch. The marketing, packaging and taste of e-cigarettes are perfectly designed to create new nicotine addicts, who then convert to lifelong smokers at alarming rates.
Michigan’s ban will go into effect in the next 30 days.
As concerns over the smoking alternative grows, a fifth death reportedly linked to vaping has recently been reported.
A man from California reportedly suffered from other chronic health conditions at the time of his death. Other deaths have been reported in the states of Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois and Oregon. Another man was placed into a medically induced coma in Utah.
As of Friday (September 6), officials have stated there are now 450 possible cases across 33 states and one territory, including the five reported deaths.
Out of the 450 cases of severe pulmonary disease reported across the US, the majority have reportedly involved young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who were initially suspected to have a pneumonia-like infection.
These cases of respiratory illness have resulted in severe symptoms, including chest pain, coughing shortness of breath and vomiting. In each of the confirmed cases, patients had vaped nicotine or the marijuana constituent THC within the last 90 days.
As reported by the Guardian, an estimated nine million adults and 3.6 million teenagers in the US use e-cigarettes. This includes 20 per cent of high school students.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.