BOSTON (WWLP) – Demonstrators gathered at the State House Thursday to protest Governor Charlie Baker’s vape ban.
Last week, Gov. Baker called for a 4-month ban on the sale of all vaping products, and now vape shop owners across Massachusetts are fighting back against his decision.
The temporary vape sales ban went into effect immediately, forcing vape shop owners to close their doors without being able to sell the products they had inside. The governor’s decision has since resulted in the loss of more than 2,000 jobs across the state.
“There’s no revenue coming in, there’s rent that’s due on the first that can’t be paid, what can we do? Every single person standing here is suffering,” Jack Jolly, owner of Jolly Vapers said.
While issuing the ban, Gov. Baker declared a public health emergency in response to the number of reported severe lung illnesses associated with the use of vaping products.
But vape shop owners told 22News they followed state and local laws by checking everyone’s ID as soon as they entered to make sure they were 21 or over.
“No one has access to it unless they are 21 plus, so we have no teenagers, we do not support sales to teenagers, we support the 21 plus shops,” Ibrahim Abuhasan, owner of Symphony Smoke said.
People traveled from all across the United States to be in Boston Thursday to send a clear message to the governor, end the ban.
With the ban in place, many people are forced to turn to the black market to buy their vaping products, which is what vape shop owners believe is to blame for the harmful health effects.
Public health officials still stand behind the governor’s decision, and despite the backlash, the governor is standing by his vape sales ban.