Flavored tobacco ban awaits Governor Baker’s signature

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – We’re half way through Governor Baker’s temporary vape ban, but a bill that’s been approved at the statehouse could remove certain nicotine products from store shelves permanently.

The House and Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products.

The bill also calls for a 75 percent excise tax on non-flavored e-cigarettes.

Despite push back from convenience store and vape shop owners, who called the legislation “disappointing,'” state health officials have decided to move forward with the ban because they say it will protect teens and young adults.

“The bubble gum flavor, birthday cake flavors, all those peanut butter and jelly, all of those flavor’s targeting kids I think, you know added to the problem so by banning those, I think it’s critically important,” Wilbraham Rep. Angelo Puppolo said.

The bill also bans both mint and menthol flavors, which many people believe is a good thing.

“I think it’s a good thing, a lot of younger people aren’t giving their bodies a chance to actually develop and grow,” one Boston woman told 22News.

In addition to banning the sale of flavored vaping products, this legislation would outlaw sale of menthol cigarettes starting June 1, 2020.

The bill sits on Governor’s desk. Baker said he will be reading through the entire thing but it is likely that he will sign it into law.

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