On October 8th, according to foreign news reports, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services abruptly revoked the regulations prohibiting the sale of flavored nicotine products in Michigan this week.
This move led to the cancellation of the legislative session on Thursday, and it is expected that Republican lawmakers will question the progress of the proposed rules.
After the controversial emergency rule banning the sale of flavored nicotine products promulgated by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2019 was rejected by the state court, the department has been working on a permanent rule for nearly two years.
The department said that it withdrew the proposal on Wednesday because it is developing an alternative legislative solution to address the problem of young people using e-cigarettes. So far, the program seems to be significantly reduced from the department’s comprehensive ban.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Human Services, Bob Wheaton, said: For more than two years, the Ministry has been working on a cooperative and effective public health solution to prevent young people from becoming addicted to nicotine for life. During this time, we have been trying to find a solution to this problem-whether it is through the formulation of rules or legislation.
The legislative solution referred to by the department is a six-content bill that levies an 18% tax on the liquid nicotine solution used in e-cigarettes. The plan will allow the sale of flavored air products, but prohibit the sale of products to young people, and Punish salespeople who do not seriously ask customers whether they are minors.
The bill will also change the age requirement for purchasing tobacco and smoking products from 18 to 21, bringing state laws in line with recent federal changes.
The plan is similar to the plan led by Jim Ananich, the Democratic leader of the Senate, which was passed in the Senate last year but failed to pass outside the House of Representatives committee.
"For some time, I have been working to make tobacco regulations clearer and safer." D-Flint's Ananich said of the new legislation. "Discussions on how to best protect children's safety while providing adults with reasonable product use rights continue.
When analyzing the 2020 plan last year, the Treasury Bureau of the House of Representatives estimated that the new 18% tax revenue would bring in new tax revenues of $7 million to $10 million within a year.
Wheaton said: MDHHS remains committed to protecting young people in Michigan from nicotine use and pain, and appreciates the spirit of cooperation within the legislature to find a solution to this important goal.
The department previously stated in a report on the regulations submitted to lawmakers: By banning retail flavored products, the number of products available for sale on the market has been reduced, and the attractiveness of products available for sale to young people has been greatly reduced.
The department also warned in the report that it is expected to restrict the sales and advertising of other nicotine products through these rules.
Legislators of the Joint Administrative Rules Committee were supposed to review the department’s new regulations on Thursday, but did not consider the department’s regulations the day before the hearing.
Whitmer had previously tried to ban flavored e-cigarettes-striving to become the first state in the United States to ban the product-but failed because two e-cigarette shops filed lawsuits.
The Whitmer administration is implementing regulations to prevent the sale of flavored nicotine products to minors in Michigan, but it has lifted the permanent ban on these products.
The State Claims Court suspended the implementation of the rules, believing that the department issued emergency rules for too long, which undermined the determination of the existence of an emergency. This decision was later supported by the state court of appeals.
The Michigan Supreme Court refused to intervene.
At the time, Whitmer and Chief Assailant Dana Nessel stated that the claims court’s ruling set a dangerous precedent for the state’s power to make rules in an emergency.