Judge blocks Michigan's ban on flavored vaping products; Whitmer plans appeal

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) (10/15/2019) - A Michigan judge is blocking the state's 2-week-old ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday. She says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration's delay in implementing the ban undercut its position that emergency rules were needed.

Stephens also says there is evidence that if flavored vaping products are prohibited, adults will return to using more harmful combustible tobacco products.

The lawsuit was filed by vaping businesses that say they will go out of business due to the ban.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will appeal the judge's ruling. The Democrat issued a statement Tuesday calling the ruling "wrong" and saying it "sets a dangerous precedent" of a court second-guessing the expert judgment of public health officials.

Whitmer last month ordered the issuance of emergency rules after her chief medical executive found that youth vaping is a public health emergency.

Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled Tuesday that vaping shops that sued are likely to prevail on their contention that the rules are procedurally invalid.

Whitmer wants the Michigan Supreme Court to issue a "quick and final" ruling on the dispute.

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