New law signed by Republican governor will also prohibit menthol cigarettes and places a 75% excise tax on e-cigarettes
Massachusetts has adopted America’s toughest ban on sales of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes, in response to a rise in youth vaping and an outbreak of vaping-related serious lung injuries.
Charlie Baker, the Republican governor, signed into statute legislation passed by the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature earlier this month that also places a 75% excise tax on e-cigarettes.
Several other countries have recently adopted emergency forbids on sales of flavored vaping products amid a nationwide outbreak of lung traumata among e-cigarette users and concerns about the growing popularity of the products among high school and middle school students.
The American Cancer Society and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kid say Baker’s signature induces Massachusetts the first to enact a permanent statewide banning. It immediately bans sales of flavored vaping products and will proscribe sales of menthol cigarettes starting 1 June 2020.
” We remain committed to done everything we can to protect the public health ,” Baker said during a news conference.
The law was legislated amid public alarm over a mysterious US vaping-related respiratory illness that has sickened virtually 2,300 people and resulted in 47 deaths, according to government officials.
Health officials investigating the lung injuries have identified vitamin E acetate, believed to be used as a cutting agent in illicit vaping products containing marijuana components, as a” chemical of concern” in the outbreak.
The outbreak has coincided with the rising popularity of flavored vaping products among underage users, generating very concerned about a new generation of Americans becoming addicted to nicotine products.
More than 27.5% of American high school students use e-cigarettes, up from 20.7% in 2018, are in accordance with a recent U.S. government study.
Donald Trump’s administration in September said it would unveil a sweeping outlaw on most e-cigarette and vaping flavors. Concerns about the potential loss of jobs have prompted Trump, a Republican, to revisit the issue.
Baker said nations can only do so much to regulate vaping, but” regrettably it’s becoming increasingly clear the federal government is not going to act decisively “.
The Vapor Technology Association, a vaping industry trade group that unsuccessfully challenged Baker’s earlier vaping marketings banning in tribunal, signaled its opposition in a statement issued when the Massachusetts senate passed the legislative ban.
” Bans don’t work; they never have ,” Tony Abboud, the group’s executive director, said.
Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report
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