The Republican Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, has announced an executive statewide 4-month ban on the sale of vaping products, while the Centers for Disease Control continues to search for a cause of several mysterious vape-related lung injuries. This ban follows the series of widely-covered lung illnesses that have affected at least 530 people across 38 states. At least 61 pulmonary disease cases have been linked to vaping in Massachusetts.
Baker is reported to have said that “the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana vape products is exploding and we are seeing reports of serious lung illnesses, particularly in our young people.”
Massachusetts is now the third state to ban flavored vaping, but is the first to additionally ban non-flavored vaping. Michigan and New York ratified their respective bans this month.
Concerns have been raised about the potential appeal of flavored cigarette alternatives to youths under the age of 18. American teenagers as young as the 8th grade (between 13 and 1 years old) have discovered the accessibility of flavored vape juice; at least one in ten have tried a flavored vape product recently.
The states that have proactively banned vaping (at least in some capacity) are not alone — the White House has already announced that President Trump will be banning vape products. The Food and Drug Administration has been in the process of preparing guidelines to prevent these products from being within the reach of consumers.
Critics of vaping bans have compared these measures to the “War on Drugs.” While vaping has been called responsible for the deaths of at least 9 people this year, traditional cigarettes kill about 480,000 people in the United States per year. This has led some to call the recent heightened concern “vaping hysteria,” impending an overreaction by various governments.
As Massachusetts joins the states struggling to contain the popularity of vaping, Walmart has already announced that it will stop selling vape-related products.
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