The American Thoracic Society applauds Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to ban the sale of all flavored e-cigarette and vaping products in the state of Michigan. Governor Whitmer’s decision is an appropriate response to the 215 recently reported cases of e-cigarette triggered acute illnesses that have resulted in hospitalization and in at least one case, death.
The decisive action is a stark contrast to the FDA’s reluctant response to the growing epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. As has been extensively covered in the media, high school youth e-cigarette use increased 78 percent and middle school youth increased 48 percent from 2017 to 2018. Currently there are more than 3.6 million middle and high school youth who report having used an e-cigarette in past 30-days.
As of now, the FDA has failed to take decisive or effective action to reduce youth access to e-cigarettes and vaping products. Further, the FDA has failed place limits on the child-luring flavors that are part of the vast majority of e-cigarette and vaping products.
We hope Governor Whitmer’s decision will galvanize the FDA to take immediate steps to contain and reduce the disease and addiction caused by the unregulated use of e-cigarettes.