Michigan bans flavored vaping products after increase in health issues


GVL / Benjamin Hunt

Kylie Elwell, Staff Reporter

On Aug. 28, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released a press announcement about an ongoing investigation: it has been found that e-cigarettes and vaping cause respiratory illnesses. 

“The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we want Michiganders to be aware (that) using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,” said state epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo. “E-cigarettes (and) vaping products can contain harmful chemicals that can result in damage to a user’s lungs, heart or other body systems.”

With a wide age range using vapes regularly, individuals ranging from 19-39 have been hospitalized for severe respiratory illness. Symptoms and cases of respiratory illness have been reported in 23 different states since Aug. 23. 

Michigan is the first state to ban flavored e-juices, being proactive in trying to stop the problem of people using vapes without any previous experience with nicotine. The amount of teens and young adults contributing to the sales of vaping products has skyrocketed over the past few years. 

“Don’t start using nicotine if you don’t have a preexisting relationship with nicotine,” Juul CEO Kevin Burns said in an Aug. 31 interview. “Don’t use the product.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer believes that banning flavored vaping products will reduce the amount of teens and young adults that are addicted to nicotine from the popular flavored juices. The ban gives Michigan businesses 30 days to comply to the ban on flavored products, which will span six months and can be renewed. 

Students at GVSU are already feeling the changes, especially among e-cigarette and vape users.

GVL / Benjamin Hunt

“My friend vapes and as soon as she found out that Michigan was banning flavored vape juice, she went to the vape shop and the line was out the door,” said GVSU student Hannah Swain. 

E-cigarette and vape users should seek immediate medical attention if they start to experience any symptoms of respiratory illness. The symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms may occur long after use of a device.