Michigan Republicans push back against Gov. Whitmer's flavored vaping ban

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LANSING (WJRT) (9/5/2019) - Republicans are pushing back a day after Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an order banning the sale of flavored vaping products in Michigan.

Michigan became the first state to ban the sale of flavored vaping products to anyone regardless of age with Whitmer's order announced on Wednesday.

The Michigan House Republican Caucus published a tweet ridiculing Whitmer's support for legalizing marijuana and the annual Hash Bash at the University of Michigan while claiming vaping is a health hazard.

"Gov. Whitmer’s unilateral ban on local vaping shops (a "health emergency") would have more meaning if she weren’t such a big supporter of expanding pot and the Hash Bash," the tweet says.

State Rep. Matt Hall of Marshall criticized Whitmer's unilateral action with the vaping ban without input from citizens or the Legislature. He called on Whitmer to reverse her action and open discussion on the issue.

“The governor’s decision to circumvent the democratic process by executive privilege evades any chance for legislative oversight, open hearings and public testimony on what she described as a growing health epidemic,” Hall said in a statement.

He pointed out the Republican-led Legislature passed bills aimed at keeping vape products away from juveniles.

“Our plan was debated through several legislative committees over several weeks and included testimony from industry experts, small business owners and citizens," Hall said.

Whitmer bypassed the traditional hearings in the Legislature and public input by declaring an emergency. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services must issue emergency rules banning the sale of flavored nicotine products statewide.

Stores would have 30 days to comply once the official rules are issued. The rules would be in place for six months.