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Michigan Bans Flavored Nicotine Vaping Products

Group of miniature and large vapes sitting on a counter  

Flavored liquid nicotine is an appealing element of e-cigarettes that some officials think contributes to adolescent vaping. Michigan is the first state to place a ban on flavored vape products. Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency ruling that would require flavored vape products to be taken off the market for six months. She hopes that the legislature will be written into law, making this first-of-its-kind vape ban a permanent ruling in the state.

Controversy surrounds vaping, which was first marketed as a way to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Researchers at Harvard Health acknowledge that vaping could help people quit smoking, with some trials indicating traditional smoking cessation rates as high as 18% rate. However, of these, 80% continued vaping, which continues to subject the body to harmful nicotine and other chemicals.

One of the most controversial elements of e-cigarettes has included allegations that manufacturers like Juul market to minors. While Juul’s CEO has made efforts to reverse this impression, accusations linger that fruit and candy-flavored pods for vaping largely appeal to young people.

Days after the ruling in Michigan, President Donald Trump facilitated a discussion with Secretary Azar and the acting director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both of these officials outlined the danger of flavored vaping products, especially for adolescents. Acting FDA Director Norman Sharpless announced that the regulatory agency is finalizing guidelines for these kinds of products. From Michigan to the White House, banning tobacco products that appeal to children or promote addiction appears to have bipartisan support.

Discouraging Teen Vaping a Primary Goal

Teen vaping education and messaging is a part of federal efforts for teen drug prevention. The Department of Health and Human Services provides online resources through the website The Real Cost. Their messaging includes information about what is in e-cigarette pods, how nicotine impacts the brain and the health risks of tobacco use, such as severe lung disease.

Vaping is dangerous for many reasons, including disease and addiction. For teens, nicotine can negatively impact the developing brain, including vital functions such as attention and impulse control. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), long-term tobacco use often begins in the teen years. CDC statistics indicate that:

  • E-cigarette use among middle school and high school students rose from 2.1 million in 2017 to 3.6 million in 2018
  • 1 in every 20 middle school students used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days
  • 1 in every 5 high school students used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days

Teens who use tobacco products of any kind may develop an addiction and are more likely to use nicotine through adulthood.

Hope for Temporary Ban to Become Permanent

Michigan’s efforts in early September were reflected in New York State’s decision in mid-September to also institute a flavored e-cigarette ban. Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that it is undeniable that teen addiction is promoted through the marketing of flavors targeting young people. Officials in both states expressed a desire for these bans to become permanent.

Teen Health Risks a Major Concern

In addition to tobacco, teens and vaping present a risk with additional chemicals in vape liquid. From highly concentrated nicotine doses to hazardous chemicals, vape juice could be unsafe for consumption. The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory includes information about how teens are susceptible to vaping in secret due to the variety of shapes and kinds of vape pens. They also explain that the pods can include nicotine salts, which may increase dependence.

If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with nicotine addiction and teen drug abuse, Next Generation Village can help. Call today to learn more about co-occurring disorders and drug and alcohol addiction treatment designed specifically for teens.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Youth and Tobacco Use.” February 28, 2019. Accessed September 21, 2019.

LaVito, Angelica. “Michigan becomes first state to ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes.” CNBC, September 4, 2019. Accessed September 21, 2019.

Madani, Doha; Griffith, Janelle. “New York first state to enact ban of flavored e-cigarettes amid deaths linked to vaping.” NBC, September 18, 2019. Accessed September 21, 2019.

Shmerling, Robert H. “Can vaping help you quit smoking?” Harvard Health Blog, February 27, 2019. Accessed September 21, 2019.

Therealcost.com. “Don’t Get Hacked by Vaping.” Accessed September 21, 2019.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Surgeon General’s Advisory on E-cigarette Use Among Youth.” 2018. Accessed September 21, 2019.

Whitehouse.gov. “Remarks by President Trump in Meeting on E-Cigarettes.” September 11, 2019. Accessed September 21, 2019.

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