Baker’s Ban on Vaping Sales in Massachusetts Is Over
Massachusetts stores may now resume the sale of vaping products and e-cigarettes, but tough new regulations will be in place.
The new regulations were finalized today and they terminate the emergency ban on all vaping product sales that Gov. Charlie Baker imposed in September. The governor took that action amid a national outbreak of vaping-related lung disease, including three deaths in Massachusetts.
The new state rules will require shops to post signs warning of the dangers of severe lung disease and other health risks. All vaping and e-cigarette products must be kept behind the counter. The regulations prohibit the sale of out-of-package tobacco or vaping cartridge refills. They also require that all vaping liquid containing nicotine be packaged in child-resistant packaging.
Any store owner that violates the rules faces a new set of fines and punishments.
Baker's ban, which had been weakened by the courts, had been set to lift on Dec. 24 but the governor announced late last month that it would instead remain in effect through Dec. 11.
Still, the state's top health officer is discouraging vaping.
"We don't understand what is causing these illnesses," Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel told reporters after the new regulations were approved Wednesday, according to the State House News Service. "From a public health point of view, we cannot recommend that anybody use vaping or e-cigarette products at this time. What the regulations do is allow a regulatory and legal framework to limit the access to these products, put in place warnings and signages so people can understand their risk and, importantly, limit access for youth and young people."