Nov 27, 2019

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

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Virginia governor announces removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that the state will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

Why it matters: It's a watershed moment for Virginia, which has been at the center of a years-long national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests about a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.

Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.