All Vaping Product Sales Are Now Temporarily Banned in Massachusetts
Governor Charlie Baker announced the four-month ban Tuesday.
As hundreds nationwide have been sickened by a mysterious lung disease, Charlie Baker has declared a public health emergency, ordering a temporary four month ban on the sale of all vaping products—tobacco and marijuana—in the state. The ban will be enforced by the Department of Health and police.
In a press conference Tuesday, Baker emphasized that the objective of the ban is to allow time for medical specialists and the government to investigate the recent explosion of vaping-related lung illnesses across the country. 530 people nationwide have been affected, and nine have died. Earlier in September, Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health mandated that all physicians report any vaping-related pulmonary disease to the department, and the state is now tallying 61 possible cases.
“It’s clear there’s a very real danger to the population,” Baker said at the press conference.
The mysterious illness is of particular concern when it comes to teens. The way that vaping products are marketed and sold makes them especially appealing to youth, and current use of e-cigarettes among high schoolers is six times higher than that for adults, per a press release from the governor’s office. Last week, a group of Massachusetts pulmonary specialists and pediatric experts convened to share what they have seen in their young patients and to express their concerns about the escalation in the lung disease. The U.S. Surgeon General has deemed youth e-cigarette use an “epidemic.” In 2017, 41 percent of Massachusetts youth reported trying e-cigarettes, and 1 in 5 reported regular use.
The Massachusetts ban takes effect immediately. It will be active until January 25, 2020. For more information, visit mass.gov.