BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts became the first state to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes, after the Republican governor signed a bill Wednesday that responds to recent deaths linked to e-cigarettes and attempts to reduce their appeal to young people.
Anti-smoking groups hailed the ban signed by Gov. Charlie Baker, which outlaws the sale of flavored vaping products immediately and of menthol cigarettes starting June 1, 2020.
Some states have temporarily banned or restricted flavored tobacco or vaping products to different degrees, but Massachusetts is the first state with a permanent ban in place, anti-smoking groups say. Especially notable is its ban on menthol, which is among the most popular flavors and has often been exempted from bans.
The bill is a “major step forward,” Baker said, but states can do only so much to address the public health emergency around e-cigarettes and other vaping products. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are the only ones that can address the issues comprehensively, he said.
President Donald Trump has promised for months to approve a national ban on most flavored e-cigarettes. But in recent weeks his administration