State Rep. Steve Johnson, of Wayland, today testified in support of his plan exempting low nicotine level flavored vaping products from the governor’s flavored vaping ban.
Under the governor’s ban, all retailers, vape re-sellers and distributors are prohibited from selling any flavored e-cigarette products besides the flavor of tobacco, regardless of nicotine levels.
“It’s quite the overstep when unelected department bureaucrats are able to make decisions that take away personal freedoms for responsible adults and put hundreds of job providers and employees across the state out of business,” Johnson said. “The governor’s ban goes too far. We need to have further discussion on how to best protect our children while also protecting those using these devices as means to quit using combustible cigarettes.”
Studies have shown minors are predominantly attracted to high nicotine level vapes while those who are using e-cigarettes to kick the habit of smoking traditional cigarettes use lower level nicotine vapes. Johnson’s plan, House Bill 5019, exempts flavored vapes with a 2-percent nicotine level or lower from the administration’s ban.
Johnson said Europe has the same nicotine regulation of 2 percent and does not have the same youth vaping issues the United States faces. Johnson also added his legislation takes into consideration the governor’s concerns regarding youth vaping while recognizing those that rely on flavored vapes to stay off combustible tobacco products.
“Unilateral bans that circumvent the Legislature without any open discussion or input from the public does not lead to good public policy,” Johnson said. “Good public policy is crafted when we work together in Lansing. It is my hope both parties can come together and agree on a solution that helps protect our youth, small businesses and those who are struggling to quit smoking.”
Johnson’s measure would partially reverse the governor’s overreach regardless of pending court cases.
House Bill 5019 remains in the House Regulatory Reform Committee for further consideration.
PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Steven Johnson testifies before the House Regulatory Reform Committee in support of his plan exempting low nicotine level flavored vaping products from the governor’s flavored vaping ban on Tuesday.