Michigan judge blocks state’s flavored e-cigarette ban

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FILE – In this April 16, 2019, file photo, a researcher holds vape pens in a lab at Portland State University in in Portland, Ore. As of October 2019, experts who examined lung tissue from 17 patients say lung damage reported in people who use e-cigarettes and other vaping devices looks like chemical burns similar to what you’d see in people exposed to poisonous gases. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

Mi. (CBS) — A Michigan judge temporarily blocked the state’s weeks-old ban on flavored e-cigarettes Tuesday, CBS Lansing affiliate WLNS reports. The judge claimed the ban may force adults to return to smoking more harmful tobacco products and has irreparably hurt vaping businesses.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement that she would be appealing the decision, calling the judge’s ruling “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,” Whitmer said. “I plan to seek an immediate stay and go directly to the Supreme Court to request a quick and final ruling.”

Several states have taken steps to ban the sale of flavored vaping products amid a rising number of vaping-related lung illnesses and an epidemic of teen e-cigarette use. As of last week, vaping-related illnesses in the U.S. had reached about 1,300 cases, including at least 26 deaths.

Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the marijuana ingredient that causes a high, but some said they vaped only nicotine.

In New York, a state appeals court this month preliminarily blocked the state from enforcing a ban on flavored e-cigarette sales.

The Michigan lawsuits, which were consolidated, were filed by Houghton-based 906 Vapor and A Clean Cigarette, which has 15 locations across the state.

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