The tobacco industry suffered a critical blow as the State of Massachusetts has announced a ban of tobacco products having a characterizing flavor (e.g. menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco). The ban is not an all-encompassing one, and will still allow for these products to be sold at licensed smoking bars for on-site consumption. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill into law making the law the first statewide flavored tobacco ban in the U.S.
The bill also will implement a 75% excise tax on the wholesale price of nicotine vaping products.
“The Massachusetts law is a major milestone in the fight to reverse the worsening e-cigarette epidemic and stop tobacco companies from targeting and addicting kids with flavored products. At a time when the Trump Administration may be backing off its proposal to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes, Massachusetts is sending a powerful message that states and communities cannot wait and will not wait to protect the health of our children. Other states should quickly follow their example,” commented Matthew L. Myers President of Tobacco Free Kids.
The new law goes into effect June 1, 2020.