Michigan made history as the first state to move toward a flavored nicotine vaping ban on Sept. 4, with other states like New York, Massachusetts and Oregon following shortly after.
With an increase in vape-related deaths being reported across the nation, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) with the help of her Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun concluded that underage vaping constitutes as a public health emergency.
Under Whitmer’s orders, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued rules detailing the ban, including the prohibition of flavored nicotine products in stores and online and misleading marketing strategies claiming the products are “safe.” Whitmer also ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to outlaw vape advertisements on state billboards.
Timeline of the 2019 Michigan vape ban. Graphic by Claire Heise. “As a governor, my No. 1 priority is keeping our kids safe,” said Whitmer in a statement on Sept.
The 2016 presidential election saw roughly the same percentage of youth voters as the 2012 election, but an increase in young voters who did not identify with either major party — something experts say reflects their views on American politics and poses a clear challenge for the major parties. “Youth voters are skeptical about the two major parties,” said Abby Kiesa, director of impact at the The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. “Young people want drastic change, and they don’t think Republicans or Democrats will give them that.”
Young people are increasingly leaving behind the two major parties. This year, 35 percent of youth voters said they identify as independents, which is almost the same as the 37 percent who identified with Democrats before the election. This is compared to 29 percent independents and 45 percent Democrat in 2008.
A widening gap between young voters who have access to high-quality civic education and those who don’t is threatening young people’s ability to be active members in America’s democracy, experts say. In the 2012 election, 56 percent of youth who had any college experience voted compared to only 29 percent of youth with no college experience. Young people between 18 and 29 make up 40 percent of the youth population. The gap was similar in the 2008 election, when 62 percent of youth with any college experience voted, compared to only 36 percent of youth with no college experience. “Studies point to young people who are in wealthy districts are more likely to be exposed to the evidence-based, high-quality civic practices,” said Abby Kiesa, director of impact at The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.
Young voter turnout throughout the years has been stagnant, but with the majority of millennial voters now 18, the Nov. 8 presidential election could be decided by the youth. Young voters — people between the ages of 18 and 35 — are now just as powerful in presidential elections as their parents, according to analysis of U.S. census data from the Pew Research Center. The question now is: will they use their power to vote? East Lansing City Clerk Marie Wicks said young people are always moving, which makes it harder for them to register and subsequently cast a vote when the election arrives.