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A Michigan judge is blocking the state's two-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 undercuts its position that emergency rules were needed.

When Will tried his first vape during his sophomore year, he didn't know what to expect. It was just something he had vaguely heard about at school.

"I just sort of remember using it a bunch of times, like in a row," he says. "And there's this huge buzz-sensation-like head rush. And I just ... didn't really stop."

The link between vaping and severe lung problems is getting a lot of attention.

But scientists say they're also worried about vaping's effect on teenage brains.

"Unfortunately, the brain problems and challenges may be things that we see later on down the road," says Nii Addy, associate professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular physiology at Yale School of Medicine.

vaping
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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that an adult man has died from a vaping-related lung injury. It's the first such death to happen in the state.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control reported a nationwide total of 18 vaping-related deaths and 1,080 cases so far. Those numbers do not include the Michigan death, or any other deaths that have been reported in other states since Tuesday.

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The number of cases of suspected respiratory illnesses connected to vaping continues to climb in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says there are now a dozen confirmed or probable cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping. The department is investigating another 14 possible cases.

Vaping accesories
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

Michigan retailers have two weeks to clear their shelves of flavored, nicotine-laced vaping products. The state health department issued new rules Wednesday that ban the sale of those products. The ban also applies to online retailers who ship vaping products to Michigan customers.

Bob Wheaton is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He says the rule follows a formal declaration that vaping is a “public health emergency.”

woman blowing out smoke from e-cigarette
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President Donald Trump says his administration will propose banning thousands of flavors used in e-cigarettes amid an outbreak of breathing problems tied to vaping.

State and federal health authorities are investigating hundreds of breathing illnesses reported in people who have used e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

It's still a mystery — what's causing the cluster of severe respiratory illnesses among people who've used e-cigarettes? The FDA says there have been at least 215 reported cases in 25 states.

Nearly three dozen of those cases are in New York state, and investigators there say they are now zeroing in on vitamin E as a possible culprit. Health officials say state lab tests detected high levels of vitamin E in cartridges of cannabis vaping products used by people who vaped and suffered serious lung damage.

An e-cigarette sits on a table with smoke around it
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Today on Stateside, Governor Whitmer issued emergency rules making Michigan the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes, which are popular among teenagers. Plus, the story of a Bay City teacher who took a trip over Niagra Falls. 

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered the state health department to ban flavored nicotine vaping products on Wednesday.

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State health officials are launching an investigation into vaping.  They are looking for a possible link to a serious respiratory illnesses.

Updated August 19, 6:28 p.m.

When Dylan Nelson was admitted to the ICU in July with difficulty breathing, his mother, Kim Barnes. figured it was his asthma acting up. But when she got to the hospital in Burlington, Wis., he couldn't speak. He was intubated. His blood oxygen level was only 10%. He was put into a medically induced coma.

Barnes told the nurse she worried she wouldn't see her 26-year-old son again. The nurse reassured her.

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Minors in Michigan soon won’t be able to vape. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Tuesday. They ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors – currently a federal law. And they ban the use of e-cigarettes by minors.

Schools across the state have called minors vaping an “epidemic.”

man vaping
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The popularity of vaping among teenagers is going up. A University of Michigan study found there were 1.3 million more high school users in the U.S. in 2018 than in 2017.

Here in Michigan, two bills that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes and other vaping products to minors have been sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's desk. One of groups opposing the legislation might come as a surprise. It’s the American Cancer Society. 

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Brett Groehler

Today on Stateside, we talk to Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) after her meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about proposed changes to Title IX rules on campus sexual assault. Plus, how the advent of camper trailers helped drive the establishment of Michigan’s state park system.

Vaping accesories
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

 

The fruity smell associated with vape pens is a new normal in schools across Michigan, including Belding High School, east of Grand Rapids. That’s despite it being banned by its administration.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
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Republicans and Democrats in the state Senate have voted to get tougher on retailers that sell nicotine-infused vaping products to minors.

But Angela Clock with Tobacco-Free Michigan says that only creates an illusion of being tough on a public health threat.

She says whether they’re smoking or vaping, people are inhaling nicotine.

Person blowing vape cloud
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Today on Stateside, Michigan’s Interim State School Superintendent explains why she’s opposed to an A-though-F grading systems meant to evaluate state schools passed by the lame-duck legislature in December. Plus, a researcher breaks down the “epidemic” of teen vaping and how e-cigarette use can affect brain development in young people. 

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Minors in Michigan wouldn't be able to buy or possess electronic cigarettes or nicotine cartridges under a bill recently introduced in the state Senate.

The legislation would add vapor products and alternative nicotine products to the Youth Tobacco Act.

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, says it would close a loophole that lets minors purchase e-cigarettes in Michigan.

Smoke shop.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new University of Michigan report finds teen drug use is continuing to decline in the U.S.

U of M’s Monitoring the Future project has been studying teenage drug use for more than four decades.

“Teen smoking at 12th-grade, 10th-grade and eighth-grade is at the lowest level we’ve ever recorded in 42 years. The same with alcohol use. Same with measures of heavy alcohol use, like binge drinking or getting drunk,” says researcher Richard Meich. “So it looks like teens are moving away from drug use.”