Immediately after months of grappling with how most effective to address the overall health charges of vaping, Massachusetts lawmakers have opted to ban the sweet (and minty) stuff. On Thursday, members of the state’s Residence of Representatives voted to prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco and vape goods. The vote was handed down shortly ahead of the members of Congress broke for the holidays.
And that is not all. The vaping goods that stay legal will be topic to a whopping 75 excise tax.
The vote marks the 1st time such a statewide prohibition has been enacted in the United States, though San Francisco lawmakers banned the sale of all vaping goods earlier this year. Other states have enacted short-term bans on particular goods, as in the case of Oregon, exactly where a prohibition was overturned by the courts that would have blocked the sale of flavored cannabis vaping goods.
The legislation will now go to the desk of Governor Charlie Baker, who has currently established himself as an advocate for limiting access to vaping. In October, he enacted an emergency 4-month ban on all vaping goods in a move that was deemed outdoors his authority by a judge. The selection was handed more than to Massachusetts’ Cannabis Handle Commission, which opted to quarantine all cannabis vaping goods, save for these that use flower. Later, a judge lifted the ban for health-related marijuana individuals.
The flurry of prohibition was largely catalyzed by a rash of vaping-connected lung injuries that has so far claimed 47 lives, according to the Centers for Illness Handle.
Vaping businesses have also been the topic of current lawsuits, such as lawsuits filed by California and North Carolina state officials against major vape corporation Juul. New York Lawyer Letitia James announced that the state was suing the corporation, citing what she calls a coordinated marketing and advertising campaign targeting teens.
A National Youth Tobacco survey identified that four.1 million students nationwide vape, such as a single-third of higher college students in New York State. The nationwide vaper figure stands at 1.two million amongst middle college students.
Maybe in response to such allegations of the targeting of young individuals, Juul announced earlier this month that it would no longer be promoting its preferred mint-flavored goods. The selection was created following a government survey.
If signed, the Massachusetts bill will go into impact promptly for flavored goods and on June 1 for menthol cigarettes. It also mandates that overall health insurance coverage businesses fund tobacco cessation counseling.
“This legislation is a essential step to assist finish the worsening youth e-cigarette epidemic and cease tobacco businesses from utilizing attractive flavors to lure little ones into a lifetime of addiction,” stated president of the Campaign for Tobacco No cost Little ones Matthew Myers in a written statement. “It would make Massachusetts the 1st state in the nation to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco goods.”
Not absolutely everyone was pleased, even so. “We are disappointed the legislature supports bills that disproportionately effect communities of colour and have disastrous implications for public overall health, public security, state tax income and jobs in the Commonwealth,” stated Jonathan Shaer, president of the New England Comfort Shop Owners and Power Marketers Association, in a statement.