In the wake of a a recent lung illnesse outbreak and the continued concerns from government agencies and health organizations regarding e-cigarette use by youth, emergency vaping bans have been popping up all over the country. From statewide emergency flavor bans taking effect in coming weeks in both New York and Michigan to the vape sale ban in San Francisco taking effect next year to proposed vaping bans everywhere in between. Up next to enforce an emergency vaping ban is Massachusetts – and it’s not just flavors..
Massachusetts Bans Vaping Statewide
On Tuesday, September 24, the Public Health Council of Massachusetts quickly approved Governor Charlie Baker’s order to enforce a four-month emergency ban on all vaping products, including electronic cigarettes and THC vapes. The order comes as a declaration of a public health emergency and states the reason behind the ban is to allow time for investigation into the recent lung illness outbreak, of which 61 cases have been reported within the state, along with the “epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth”.
This order comes despite the fact that there is already evidence as to what has really been causing the lung illnesses. Michael Siegel, a tobacco control expert, public health researcher and professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health, has been following along with all of the latest news of the lung illnesses and resulted vaping bans on his blog titled “The Rest of the Story“.
In his blog, Siegel has stated the CDC has been misleading the public with regards to the cause of the illnesses, and Governor Baker’s reaction is “going to make the problem much worse” and “will have severe health consequences” while putting hundreds of vape shops out of business (and hundreds of workers out of a job). Nonetheless, the state’s vaping ban is effective immediately and will remain effective until Jan. 25, which could then could be extended if the council chooses to do so.
What Does This Mean for Vape Shops and Vapers in Massachusetts?
So what does this mean for vape shops and vapers in Massachusetts? Retailers within the state are being instructed to remove all vaping products from shelves immediately, although they are not being told to destroy the products as of yet since this is a temporary ban. The state’s department of public health is currently working on guidance documents to help retailers comply with the ban, including signage to hang in stores to notify customers. So what this could really mean for vape shop owners in Massachusetts is closing their doors for good, as what business can stay afloat without sales?
For vapers, this simply means they will no longer be able to buy vaping products within the state, nor will they be able to buy them online, and will have to look to the state’s “free support and advice” to help them quit vaping – or simply go back to smoking.
As for White Cloud customers, unfortunately we will no longer be able to ship our products to addresses within the state of Massachusetts. We urge you to follow the advice from the Consumer Advocates for Smoke Free Alternatives (CASAA ) and call the main office of the Governor Baker’s Constituent Services at (617) 725-4005 to discuss the points listed by the vaping organization’s call-to-action.