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2nd business sues over state's flavored vaping ban

The Detroit News

Michigan is facing a second lawsuit over its ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

Mister E-Liquid, an e-cigarette manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler based in Grand Rapids, filed the suit and a request for a temporary restraining order Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

The state's ban, being implemented by the state Department of Health and Human Services to curb youth vaping, is scheduled to take effect Oct. 2. The suit alleges the ban violates the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause by barring it and other Michigan e-cigarette companies from selling to consumers in other states.

A man exhales a puff of smoke from a vape pipe at a shop in Richmond, Va.

The company says in that suit that the state's ban would force it to shut down, lay off its employees and move all of its operations out of Michigan. 

Marc Slis, owner of the 906 Vapor vape shop in Houghton, sued the state Wednesday in an Upper Peninsula circuit court. 

The flavored vaping ban announced in early September by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would prohibit the sale of all flavored e-cigarette products, with the exception of tobacco flavored products, to combat a reported increase in youth usage of the product.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Aug. 30 issued a “finding of emergency” that described a “vaping crisis among youth” and recommended adoption of emergency rules.

“Governor Whitmer has forced another Michigan small business owner to fight her in court to protect their business," the Defend MI Rights Coalition, a group of small business owners and associations in the vaping industry, said in a statement. "Her decision to bypass the legislative process, not allow for public comment and force a short deadline has created a great hardship for hundreds of small business owners across the state."

Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Dana Nessel, issued a statement in response to the complaint: "We will review the latest legal action on the vaping issue to determine the best way to respond to ensure we are protecting the health of Michigan residents."

Since Whitmer’s announcement, President Donald Trump and other governors have announced similar plans. New York last week became the first state to implement its emergency flavored vaping ban.