Massachusetts has moved to ban the sale of all vaping products in the state. Republican Governor Charlie Barker announced the ban on Sept. 24. The wide-sweeping vape pen ban is effective immediately. And it comes as both the CDC and the FDA continue to investigate the outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses.
“The use of e-cigarettes and marijuana vaping products is exploding and we are seeing reports of serious lung illnesses, particularly in our young people,” Baker said in a press release. “The purpose of this public health emergency is to temporarily pause all sales of vaping products so that we can work with our medical experts to identify what is making people sick and how to better regulate these products to protect the health of our residents.”
The ban will last for four months ending on Jan. 25, 2020. Barker hopes the ban will prevent further harm while public health officials study the outbreak. It also coincides with the new criminal probe into Juul‘s marketing practices. And we assume more vape pen lawsuits will be filed in the future. And Juul recently stopped selling “kid-friendly” flavors.
Mass Vape Pen Ban: What It Means
The Massachusetts ban is the strongest action against vaping taken by any state so far. New York followed shortly after with a similar ban on all flavored vaping products. The Trump administration is also exploring a nation-wide ban of flavored e-cigarette products. The Massachusetts ban goes one step further. All e-cigarette products—both flavored and unflavored—are banned from sale. This goes for both nicotine and THC vape products.
Until now, lawmakers have focused on flavored vape products because of their youth appeal. The National Institutes of Health estimated around one in nine teens vape nicotine near-daily. That frequency of use means these young people likely have nicotine addictions.
San Francisco is the only other jurisdiction to ban the sale of all vape products. However, the ban—approved by city officials in June—does not go in to effect until next year. Until then, avoid common mistakes when purchasing vape pens and THC products.
The move is not without its opponents either. Austin Finan, a spokesperson for leading e-cigarette manufacturer Juul, has criticized the ban.
Finan says pulling e-cigarettes from stores pushes people to use unsafe black market products. He also stated the vape pen ban and banning e-cigarettes will reduce smokers’ quitting options. As this epidemic continues to plague consumers, it’s important to know how to buy the safest vape pens.
If you’re concerned about this new vape lung illness epidemic, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to stop vaping.
Why Ban Now
Officials in the state seem to be aware of concerns around reducing smokers’ ability to quit. The Massachusetts governor’s office says they will expand smoking cessation programs.
Owners of vape shops in Massachusetts have also criticized the governor’s ban. Jonathan Lau says the ban will mean he’ll likely have to close the two vape shops he runs in Brighton, Mass.
“Basically, it’s a death sentence for small businesses in the vape industry,” Lau told The Washington Post.
The Massachusetts ban comes as concern around the safety of e-cigarettes grows. The Centers for Disease Control have confirmed 530 cases of vaping-related illnesses. The CDC has not linked specific e-cigarette brands, products, or ingredients to the outbreak yet. The majority of affected people are males aged 18 to 34. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed 61 potential cases of vaping-related illnesses. Nine people have died from vaping-related illnesses nationwide.
Check out the full list of states that have banned vaping.