New ban on tobacco, vape flavours in Massachusetts

Massachusetts adopts tough ban on flavoured vaping, tobacco products

The Associated Press |

Vaping uses a vaporizer to inhale nicotine infused with flavours ranging from pina colada to bubblegum. A new law in Massachusetts immediately bans the sale of flavoured vaping products and will outlaw sales on menthol cigarettes starting June 1, 2020. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Massachusetts became the first state to ban the sale of flavoured tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes, after the Republican governor signed a bill Wednesday that responds to recent deaths linked to e-cigarettes and attempts to reduce their appeal to young people.

Anti-smoking groups hailed the ban signed by Gov. Charlie Baker, which outlaws the sale of flavoured vaping products immediately and of menthol cigarettes starting June 1, 2020.

Some states have temporarily banned or restricted flavoured tobacco or vaping products to different degrees, but Massachusetts is the first state with a permanent ban in place, anti-smoking groups say. Especially notable is its ban on menthol, which is among the most popular flavours and has often been exempted from bans.

The bill is a “major step forward,” Baker said, but states can do only so much to address the public health emergency around e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are the only ones that can address the issues comprehensively, he said.

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