Not a day has gone by without hearing about the “vape ban”, which has been a hot topic for people of all ages and beliefs, each viewpoint more extreme than the next. If you are unfamiliar, Massachusetts governor, Charlie Baker, announced a four month ban on all vape related products back in late September. This ban is controversial to say the least, and it ranks as the strictest ban on vape products. While other states have outlawed only certain flavors, Baker took it to the next level, completely banning the sale of all e-cigarette flavors and devices.
In the month following the ban, many people have expressed their grievances surrounding the ban, mainly regarding the affect the ban has had on small businesses. A complaint was made to Governor Baker by the Vapor Technology Association in combination with vape store owners, ultimately leading to the reevaluation of the ban. It was concluded that the ban will remain in effect for now as ending the ban would have a negative affect on public health. However, in order for the ban to remain in effect, the Commonwealth must directly address the situation at hand. The state was given a week to rewrite the ban.
The main arguments against the ban are in defense of the vape companies; in an order released from Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins, it noted that the financial ramifications of the ban on businesses would evidently be significant, and would most likely prove the ban to be unlawful. His order questioned the legality of the ban.
It has also been brought to attention the fact that products with THC, not necessarily nicotine, have been the main cause of the health problems. It is a popular belief that the state acted prematurely before researching the true cause of the health issues.
Some people have also expressed concern over the intended use of e-cigarette products and what this ban will mean for individuals using these products to combat addiction. E-cigarettes were primarily intended for ex-smokers, and without the option for e-cigarettes, these consumers may revert back to unhealthy means of actual cigarettes. This ban also creates a greater demand for black market brand products, ultimately doing more harm than good for the general public
As of September 11, 2019, there have been 204 reports of potential vape-related illnesses reported to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. As of October 7, 2019, there have been two deaths involving potential vape related causes. Due to these statistics, Governor Baker has considered extending the ban amidst all the controversy. Regardless of your individual stance on the vape situation, there’s no doubt that the state will continue to receive backlash regarding the ban.