Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Wednesday signed into law severe restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor products, making his state the first to enact such stringent controls, reports National Public Radio.
Set to take effect on June 1, 2020, the law limits the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products, including menthol, “to licensed smoking bars where they may only be smoked on-site.”
The same restrictions apply to all other flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco.
The legislation also imposes a 75 percent excise tax on e-cigarettes.
“It’s pretty clear there isn’t going to be a federal policy on this anytime soon,” Baker said at the signing. “So in the absence of that, we had to act.”
Vapor businesses in Massachusetts have been protesting the restrictions since they were first proposed.
“The people that were applauding the governor the loudest were the criminals and gangs that already operated in the states illegal black market,” Jon Shaer, executive director of the New England Convenience Store & Energy Marketers Association, was quoted as saying.