Published: Fri, November 29, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors in Massachusetts

No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors in Massachusetts

The sale of flavored tobacco vaping products will still be prohibited on that date under the new law signed by Baker.

The unusual legislation particularly restricts sale of the products to licensed smoking bars such as cigar bars and hookah lounges, where they'll finest be allowed to be consumed on-blueprint.

The new law responds to growing concern about the health effects of vaping products, including deaths.

MA has become the first USA state to limit the purchase of vaping products to cigar bars and hookah lounges where they may only be smoked on-site. Since then, almost 2,300 cases of lung injury associated with the use of e-cigarette or vaping products have been reported to the CDC in 49 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

It also limits the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products to licensed smoking bars where they can only be smoked on-site beginning in June.

"More than 80% of teens who have ever used a tobacco product started with a flavored product, and the tobacco industry knows this", the organization said in an emailed statement.

'This is not a nanny state effort, ' said Healey, a Democrat.

Mark Levine, the New York Health Committee Chair, said that the organisation has "no higher obligation than to protect the health of kids".

In September, Baker had declared a public health emergency and ordered a temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products - flavored and unflavored.

The New England Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association, which had opposed the legislation, said in a statement the ban will disproportionately affect communities of colour and cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

Baker did not offer details on how the state intends to enforce the law.

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"I think we did the right thing on this one".

After the temporary vape sale ban was announced and while the flavor bill was moving through the Legislature, convenience store and smoke shop owners protested repeatedly, concerned about the effect on their businesses.

The ban was passed by the Senate on November 21 before the legislature broke for a holiday recess. During the debates, some lawmakers said they were anxious about the impact on retailers, particularly those near the borders of other states where flavored tobacco would still be available.

Baker has expressed similar concerns in explaining his opposition to hiking the gas tax, saying that a higher tax here would push drivers to fill up in other states. Asked if he applies that same philosophy to tobacco, Baker said he believed a "comprehensive, nationwide policy on this would be much more effective than doing it one state at a time".

"Sadly it's becoming an increasing selection of determined that the federal executive is no longer any longer going to act decisively so we're going to originate all the pieces we are in a position to with bid-stage authority that remains to us", he said.

"This nation-leading step will save lives", Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo said.

"California is once again leaving kids vulnerable to the lure of flavored tobacco products while MA becomes the leader in addressing the current youth e-cigarette epidemic, now one of the nation's biggest public health threats", according to the statement.

Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said adult vapers in MA should do whatever it takes to remain smoke-free, even if means violating what he described as unjust laws.

"For decades, tobacco companies have targeted African American, LGBTQ and other populations with menthol products, which have been shown to encourage tobacco use, increase progression to regular smoking and enhance the addictiveness and dependence of tobacco". The restriction extends to menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco.

Jim Knox, the managing director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in California, said that "while the California Legislature missed opportunity after opportunity this year to help bring a halt to the youth e-cigarette epidemic, more than 30 cities and counties in this state and now MA have staked a claim as leaders in the fight against the tobacco industry".

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