Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday signed a new tobacco control law which substantially restricts the sale of e-cigarette and nicotine vaping products and flavored tobacco products.
House Bill 4196, or “An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control,” will impose a 75% excise tax on e-cigarettes. It also will restrict the sale of all flavored nicotine vaping products to licensed smoking bars for on-site consumption. Furthermore, “vaping products that contain over 35 milligrams per milliliter nicotine [will be] licensed to adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars,” while non-flavored vaping products with less than 35 milligrams per milliliter nicotine will be available to be “sold in retail stores generally licensed to sell tobacco products, such as convenience stores, gas stations, and retail outlets.”
This new law follows Baker’s previous declaration that a detrimental public health emergency exists in Massachusetts, citing a link between severe lung disease and the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products. Following that declaration, the Massachusetts Public Health Council issued an emergency order temporarily banning the sale of all vaping products in retail stores or online in the state.
Massachusetts is the first state to pass tightened restrictions on the use of vaping products.