HomeWashington Letter2019 ▶ ATS Joins Amicus Brief in Michigan Flavor Ban Case
ATS Joins Amicus Brief in Michigan Flavor Ban Case

This week, the American Thoracic Society joined several other national and state-based medical organizations in an amicus brief supporting the state of Michigan’s ban on the sale of flavored vape and e-cigarette products. In response to precipitous increase in youth vape and e-cigarette use, Michigan Governor Whitmer issued a ban on the sale of all flavored vape and e-cigarette products in the state. While Michigan was the first state to take action, several other states have since followed suit.

However, State Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens issued a temporary injunction, blocking enforcement of Michigan’s flavored vape/e-cigarette ban. In issuing her decision, Judge Stephens held that the increase in youth vape/e-cigarette use does not constitute an emergency – noting that data showing a rise in youth vape/e-cigarette use was known to state health officials for several months before they chose to issue an emergency order – and that the harms of youth e-cigarette use needs to be balanced against the economic losses vape/e-cigarette merchants will suffer from the ban and adverse health effects adult vape/e-cigarette users would suffer if they returned to traditional combustible tobacco product use.

The brief joined by the ATS and other medical organizations rebuts many of the findings in Judge Stephens’ temporary injunction, including her apparent dismal of the over 1,300 CDC confirmed cases of e-cigarette/vape lung associated injury (EVALI) and the 33 deaths attributed to EVALI. The amicus brief also challenges Judge Stephens’ assumption that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to combustible tobacco products.

The case is expected to be directly appealed to the Michigan State Supreme Court.

Last Reviewed: October 2019