Nov 21, 2019

Massachusetts tees up sweeping flavored tobacco and vape ban

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has expressed interest in vaping regulation. Photo: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

Massachusetts lawmakers passed the toughest ban on flavored tobacco and vaping products in the country on Thursday, proposing a 75% excise tax on vaping products and requiring the state's Medicaid program to cover tobacco cessation counseling, AP reports.

The big picture: Massachusetts now awaits Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision whether to sign the bill. Several states introduced bans and filed lawsuits to address the high rate of lung injuries and dozens of deaths due to vaping. A nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarette products, which was ready to be rolled out by the Trump administration, has been stalled, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeper: American Medical Association calls for ban on vaping products

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.