In latest news, Michigan has become the first state to act upon the banning of flavored vape products. This unprecedented ban has left thousands of current vapors without many options.
The true cause of the new mystery disease that has since killed six people, that called for an emergency ban, was not e-liquid at all, but instead THC cartridges.
While Governor Whitmer and the state’s health department insisted that current events called for a “crisis”, they have yet called out the main culprit. Researchers have publicly noted that the recent events were brought on by black market THC cartridges, which contain Vitamin E acetate which is used as a thickening agent for the THC cartridges.
“The majority of cases reported that they have vaped THC products,” HHS spokesman Bob Wheaton tells Metro Times. “However, there are some that are not connected to THC.”
So far, primary evidence that nicotine vaping caused some of the lung illnesses is unreliable.
“We’re continuing to monitor the issue and will evaluate the data provided to determine if any action is necessary,” the agency’s spokesman, David Harns, tells Metro Times.
When President Donald Trump’s administration announced it may also ban flavored e-liquid earlier this week, federal authorities did not mention marijuana vaping.
The mysterious lung illness have killed at least six people and sickened 380 others in 36 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Vaping advocates say the bans on flavored e-liquids are misdirected and will encourage a dangerous illicit market. Journalist Jia Tolentino, who wrote a lengthy New Yorker story about teen vaping, cautioned that the bans could pose a bigger health risk.
“Basically all these vaping-related hospitalizations are directly linked to black-market or knockoff THC oil,” Tolentino tweeted Wednesday. “The shady stuff & untested devices are what make people sick: banning flavored e-cigs is gonna get ppl back on cigarettes & make the black-market problem way worse.”
Whitmer’s administration defended its ban because flavored e-liquids are enticing to children, who are increasingly vaping nicotine.
“The increasing e-cigarette use among our youth is a public health crisis,” Whitmer spokeswoman Chelsea Lewis tells Metro Times in a statement. “In 2018, more than 3.6 million U.S. kids, including 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students, were regular users. These rates are still climbing, likely fueled by the availability of flavors akin to apple juice, bubble gum, and Nerds.”
She added, “The bottom line is this ban is intended to protect the health and safety of our youth.”
Michigan’s ban will go into effect when the governor files the emergency orders.
“The rules will take immediate effect once filed. Although the department has not finally determined how long, retailers will have a specified amount of time to comply,” Lewis tells Metro Times.
Vape store owners plan to file suit to stop the ban, saying Whitmer overstepped her authority by failing to get legislative approval.
Under the ban, adults possessing four or more “flavored vapor products or alternative nicotine products” face a penalty of up to six months in jail.