Massachusetts announced on Tuesday it will impose a four-month ban on all vaping products. The ban is effective immediately. The move is in response to a health emergency that so far has claimed the lives of nine people.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Baker and other officials of the state said that there would be no sales of e-cigarettes in Massachusetts for four months. This ban stands whether the product is used for marijuana or tobacco.
The move by Massachusetts goes a step beyond measures taken in Michigan and New York. Both states banned the sale of vaping products that are flavored. This is due to the appeal of such products to teenagers.
Baker said during the news conference that the use of the banned products is skyrocketing and that a lot of the increased usage is among young people. The governor says this is a significant health issue that must be strongly addressed.
Vaping has been linked to a serious lung ailment that has already made 538 people sick in the United States. The illnesses have been spread out over 38 states. Federal health officials told members of Congress during a hearing on vaping Tuesday they expect these numbers to increase.
The ban in Massachusetts will remain in effect until January 25 and includes flavored and non-flavored vaping products.
The hopes are that the four-month period will provide enough time to identify what about vaping is causing the illnesses. Health officials also hope to uncover ways to increase the safety for users of vaping products.
The Department of Public Health in California issued a Tuesday advisory that cautioned residents against vaping for any reason. The state has not banned the sale of vaping products but is asking the public to abstain from using these products until more information is uncovered regarding the source of the serious illnesses connected to vaping.
California Governor Gavin Newsome released a statement encouraging Californians to stay away from vaping products until health officials gain a better grasp of the current health crisis.
One in four teenagers reports using vaping products in the last month. The University of Michigan reports the rate is one in 10 for eighth-graders.
A recent public poll discovered that more Americans believe vaping is no safer than smoking traditional cigarette products.