Massachusetts Bans Vaping Products, Vape Shop Owners React
BOSTON – On Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker placed a ban on all vaping products for both tobacco and marijuana following nine vaping-related deaths and hundreds of illnesses. The governor cited a public health emergency.
According to The Washington Post, the ban will be in effect for four months as state officials and medical experts get a chance to investigate the health risks associated with vaping.
During the ban, state officials also plan to create a public service campaign addressing the risks of vaping.
“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,” Gov. Charlie Baker stated at a news conference held on Tuesday at the Massachusetts Statehouse.
“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,” Baker said.
The ban comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 530 cases of vaping related illnesses within 38 states as of last week.
Prior to Massachusetts’ move to ban vaping, New York and Michigan put a ban on flavored vaping products.
Meanwhile, vape shop owners are upset over the ban as it will of course impact the success of their stores and ultimately their livelihood.
“It’s been a frenzy,” said Chris Kolacz, the co-owner of Beantown Vapor Shop, told Boston CBS. “People are outraged today. They got their free will to purchase what they want as adults taken away from them.”
“Everything now is zero value, you know. Everything is zero value for four months and we gonna lose the money, everything," Pete Patel of Allston’s Liquid Smoke & Vape Shop told WBUR following the ban.
“It makes me angry. It does. It makes me angry because they're hurting small businesses, which are 21-plus," Cathy McCarthy of Allston's Fast Eddie’s Smoke Shop said.
Adding, "Why don't they go to liquor stores and ban raspberry mango vodka? If this is doing harm to you, they cannot say that alcohol isn't doing harm to you. That's proven. That's a proven fact."