LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Vaping business owners can breathe easier, at least for now, after a judge blocked Michigan’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday. She says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration’s delay in implementing the ban undercut its position that emergency rules were needed.
Stephens also says there is evidence that if flavored vaping products are prohibited, adults will return to using more harmful combustible tobacco products.
The lawsuit was filed by vaping businesses that say they will go out of business due to the ban.
Loretta Frink, an associate at “A Clean Cigarette,” says the business is in a position where they might have to close some stores due to the ban. She added she’s heard the concerns about returning to tobacco as well.
“I had a customer that came in, and he had tried a normal flavor, and he brought in everything. He brought it in and said, ‘Just let me donate it. because I have to go back to cigarettes,’ ” Frink said. “I didn’t know who was going to cry: him, or me. It was devastating.”
Frink said employees at “A Clean Cigarette” were “ecstatic” about the injunction.
“We’ll continue the fight,” she said. “The people that own this company know why they started it, and we all believe in the product. Everybody that works for this company used this product to get away from smoking.”
Whitmer issued the following statement on the ruling:
“This decision is wrong. It misreads the law and sets a dangerous precedent of a court second-guessing the expert judgment of public health officials dealing with a crisis. The explosive increase in youth vaping is a public health emergency, and we must do everything we can to protect our kids from its harmful effects. I plan to seek an immediate stay and go directly to the Supreme Court to request a quick and final ruling. I took bold action last month to protect public health, and several states and the White House have followed Michigan’s lead because they know how urgent this is. Enough is enough. Our kids deserve leaders who will fight to protect them. That’s exactly what I’m doing today.”Governor Gretchen Whitmer, (D) Michigan