Massachusetts Introduces New Laws on Vaping Products For 2020
Massachusetts Introduces New Laws on Vaping Products For 2020
There has been some controversy recently about the safety of vaping products, also referred to as e-cigarettes. Many people have resorted to these devices as an alternative to tobacco based products, or as a means of transiting away from using any type of tobacco product that is damaging to their health. However, vaping products have turned out to be no miracle cure as they are also associated with ill health amongst their users. Health officials investigating lung injuries have pinpointed vitamin E acetate, the “chemical of concern” in this outbreak of vaping related lung injuries.
Since the revelation that vaping users have either suffered lung injuries or have died due to vaping, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics up to December 2019 have confirmed there have been 54 deaths attributed to vaping.
Since that announcement, almost 2,300 cases of injury to lungs have been linked to the use of e-cigarette or vaping products as reported to the CDC from the 49 states, the D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
From these statistics and the fact that vaping products are bad for the heart and lungs and in the absence of any federal legislation restricting the use of vaping products, the CDC now recommends that people:
- do not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC;
- do not buy vaping products online;
- do not add or modify any substances to a vaping device.
Massachusetts is One Step Ahead With Vaping Legislation
A new vaping law comes into force June 1st, 2020. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has gone a step further than just issuing health warnings. In fact, back in September last year, he went as far as declaring a public health emergency which resulted in implementing a ban of four months on the use of all vaping products. This was in response to media coverage that a mysterious lung illness and fatalities throughout the nation were connected to vaping.
This temporary blanket ban was supposed to expire in late January but due to the new legislation Gov. Baker ended it on Dec. 11. The new law will take effect as from June 1st, 2020. It is not designed as a blanket ban on the products but it limits who can sell them with an emphasis on flavored nicotine products which includes the sale of flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes and chew, as well as nicotine vaping products. These will be confined to just any licensed smoking bar where the products may only be smoked and nowhere else. The same restrictions will be applicable to other flavored tobacco products which include flavored chewing tobacco and menthol cigarettes.
Despite business owners and manufacturers of vape products condemning the passing of the law advocates are sticking to the argument that these new restrictions will help to stop both children and teenagers from nicotine addiction. This outbreak of lung injuries happens to coincide with the increase in popularity of flavored vaping products being used by underage users.
The concern that is now in legislators’ minds is that this could be heralding the rise of a new generation of Americans becoming addicted to nicotine products. A recent U.S. government study in highlighted that more than 27 percent of U.S. high school students indulged in e-cigarettes in 2019, a rise from 20.7% in 2018.
If you are charged with supplying a vaping device in contravention of Massachusetts’ new vaping law, you should contact a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help fight your case.
As from December 11th the new law implemented the following restrictions:
- Any retail store which has a license to sell tobacco products, like gas stations and convenience stores are restricted to selling non-flavored nicotine products which possess a nicotine content of no more than 35 mg per ml.
- The selling of non-flavored nicotine vaping products which have nicotine content more than 35 mg per ml can only be sold by a smoking bar and adults-only retail tobacco outlets.
- The consumption and sale of any flavored nicotine vaping product may only take place in a licensed smoking bar.
- From June 1 of this year the selling of combustible flavored cigarettes and other tobacco products, which include menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco, will be limited to just any licensed smoking bar where sales are for the purpose of only being consumed on-site. Also, as from June 1st, as well as the Massachusetts 6.75 percent sales tax a 75 percent excise tax on the wholesale prices of all nicotine products will be enforced.
Laws For a Non-Age-Restricted Retailer
- are not permitted to sell any tobacco product, including cigarettes and e-cigarettes to anybody below 21 years the legal minimum age;
- are not permitted to sell flavored electronic nicotine deliverers including flavored vaping products and e-cigarettes;
- are not permitted to sell any electronic nicotine delivery system with a nicotine content that exceeds 35 mg per ml.
- are not permitted to display any advertisements of tobacco products that it is not allowed to sell, use any fraudulent or any misleading statement in advertising, or put on display advertisements which include celebrities or cartoons.
- are permitted to sell any electronic nicotine non-flavored delivery system with a nicotine content of 35 mg or less per ml.
- must keep all records supplied by the manufacturer that show the nicotine content of any electronic nicotine delivery system that is sold on its premises.
- must store all tobacco products, which include both cigarettes and e-cigarettes so they cannot be accessed by potential customers.
Penalties for breaching the new rule are set at a fine not exceeding 1,000 dollars.
What to Do if You Are Caught Selling These Products
If the police demand to search your premises because they believe you are illegally selling any of these products you can demand to see a search warrant or if you believe you are not guilty you can give permission yourself for them to access your property.
Seek the Help of an Attorney
If you believe you were unjustly charged with violating Massachusetts new vaping laws, you should seek help from a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to fight your charge.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard Mucci to order a free case evaluation. Call at 781-729-3999 to talk about your circumstances.