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Whitmer going after vaping industry in state

With the number of serious health cases approaching 500 nationwide related to vaping, we believe Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is on the right track in banning flavored electronic cigarettes, accusing companies of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to “hook children on nicotine.”

Whitmer took the unprecedented action last week, making the state of Michigan the first in the union to take the controversial step. Although retailers will have 30 days to comply with the rules once they’re filed in coming weeks, look for the rules to almost certainly be challenged in court, the Associated Press reported.

“Right now, companies selling vaping products are using candy flavors to hook children on nicotine and misleading claims to promote the belief that these products are safe. That ends today,” Whitmer said in a written statement distributed to media, noting that Michigan’s chief medical executive determined that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency, said AP.

Whitmer’s announcement drew praise from public health advocates, school groups and Democratic lawmakers, but criticism from organizations that advocate for vaping and some Republicans in the GOP-led Legislature, said AP.

So, like everything else in Lansing, this issue, too, will be politicized, and while it is, people — including a large number of young people — will continue to become ill.

Yet the governor’s initiative got a surprising backing of sorts Wednesday when President Donald Trump announced the federal government, too, will act to ban thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes, also in response to the surge in underage vaping.

Although the Michigan ban will land the state in court for who knows how long, the governor is right on this one. We trust the judiciary will see it that way as well.