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

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CDC confirms 2,758 hospital cases of lung injury linked to vaping

Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images

There are 2,758 confirmed hospital cases of lung injury associated with vaping in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and two U.S. territories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb 4.

The big picture: Nationally, most vaping-related patients with data on how they sourced products reported obtaining THC-containing products from "informal sources," per the CDC. The agency now recommends users should consider no longer vaping THC products, rather than its original claim to refrain from e-cigarettes.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 11, 2020 - Health

Mass. becomes first state to outlaw flavored tobacco and vaping products

Protestors against Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's vaping ban on the front steps of the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill into law on Wednesday for a sweeping ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes.

Why it matters: The Act Modernizing Tobacco Control law is the first of its kind prohibiting these products permanently and on a statewide basis. The ban on flavored vaping products will be effective immediately, while the outlawed sale of menthol cigarettes starts June 1, 2020 in the wake of the vaping epidemic, resulting in illnesses and deaths across the country.

Go deeper: Vaping and vitamin E acetate: What we know

Keep ReadingArrowNov 27, 2019

New York City bans non-tobacco vaping flavors

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Manhattan is expected to become the largest U.S. city to ban all vaping flavors except tobacco, after its city council voted on Tuesday in favor of the ban, as Mayor Bill de Blasio is anticipated to pass the bill into law, CNBC reports.

The big picture: There are 2,290 confirmed and probable cases of lung injury in 49 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories and 47 deaths associated with e-cigarette use as of Nov. 20, according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Go deeperArrowNov 26, 2019