Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Signs Bill To Ban Flavored Tobacco & Vape Products

Sean GallupGetty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday signed into law a bill passed by the state legislature to ban all flavored tobacco and vaping products, including the sale of menthol cigarettes, in their state, Axios reported.

The new law, which partially goes into effect immediately, puts Massachusetts as the latest state to regulate such products, though as Axios noted, the outright ban on flavored products is seemingly a first.

The ban on flavored vaping products goes into effect immediately, Axios said, while the ban on menthol cigarettes will go into effect in about seven months, in June of next year.

As the local CBS station in Boston reported, around the same time Baker signed the law into effect, he reportedly lifted a temporary outright ban on the sale of all vaping products in the state, which was announced September 25. The outright ban was slated to last until January, though Baker announced Wednesday that the ban would end on December 11 and that the state plans to have new regulations put in place by then.

“At that time, we expect to put in place new regulations to ensure everyone knows the legitimate health risks that all vaping products pose,” Baker said at a press conference at the Massachusetts State House Wednesday, per CBS Boston.

States have accused the vaping industry — particularly popular vape manufacturer Juul — of marketing their products toward minors. As The Inquisitr previously reported, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced a lawsuit against Juul, claiming that the company knowingly advertised its products toward minors and allowed users to circumvent the age-verification process on its website, allowing minors to order its products. Both California and North Carolina have launched similar lawsuits this year against the popular e-cigarette manufacturer.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, vaping has been linked to a rise in lung-related illnesses, and, in some cases, death. While it’s not known exactly what it is about vaping and vape products that have caused the rise in such diseases, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported earlier this month that it believes the Vitamin E found in the products could be one of the causes. While Vitamin E is healthy to be consumed when eaten, it is reportedly dangerous to be inhaled.

Specifically in Massachusetts, there have been three vaping-related deaths reported in 2019. Out of 278 reports of vaping-related lung illnesses this year, the state has confirmed 21 cases and reported another 47 likely cases to the CDC, CBS Boston reported.