Massachusetts ban on flavored tobacco will include menthol cigarettes

Massachusetts

(WWLP) — Massachusetts will be ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the Commonwealth which will take effect on Monday.

The ban follows a bill signed last November by Governor Charlie Baker—that will end the sale of flavored tobacco products, tax vape products, and increase access to tobacco cessation medicine and counseling.

Hasib Mahmood of the convenient store Country Mart in Westfield told 22News the ban will impact the business.

“About 55 to 60 percent of our customers come in and get menthol products,” said Mahmood. “At the end of the day for health benefits, if they think that this is the safest way to approach—then we are here to cooperate.”

The law will apply to the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts retail stores and online. Among the restrictions, retailers can no longer sell flavored vape cartridges—which supporters of the law say flavored vapes have encouraged youth users.

22News spoke with Louis Sorrentino of Northampton who said he thinks though people will not be happy about it but believes the ban is for the best.

“Everyone should have their rights in America,” said Sorrentino. “But perhaps the good about it is that there will be less people dying from addictions as a result.”

The ban extends to flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco. Flavored tobacco products will also be restricted to licensed smoking bars where they may be sold only for on-site consumption.

The new law will impose a 75% excise tax on the wholesale price of nicotine vaping products in addition to the 6.75% sales tax.

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