On Tuesday afternoon, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency in response to confirmed and suspected cases of severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana vaping products in Massachusetts.
In doing so, the governor called for a temporary, four-month statewide ban on the sale of flavored and non-flavored vaping products in both retail stores and online. The sales ban applies to all vaping products and devices, including tobacco and marijuana.
The ban takes effect immediately and lasts through January 25, 2020. The Baker Administration will also work on providing more resources for a public awareness campaign and smoking cessation programs.
While this is not the American Heart Association’s preferred policy approach, we appreciate the governor’s response to the current youth electronic cigarette epidemic. We believe comprehensive legislation to eliminate the sale of all flavored tobacco products is the soundest approach to stopping the tobacco industry from targeting our kids with sweet flavors and cheap pricing.
We look forward to working closely with our legislative champions, state Rep. Danielle Gregoire and Sen. John Keenan, in taking swift action on a permanent solution to this public health emergency.
For more information about the dangers of vaping and flavored tobacco products, click here.