On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency. The declaration can be found here. Citing the growing number of cases of unexplained pulmonary illnesses in the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Baker exercised his power under M.G.L. c. 17, § 2A to declare such an emergency. The statute provides that when the governor declares a public health emergency, the Public Health Commissioner may “take such action and incur such liabilities as he may deem necessary to assure the maintenance of public health and the prevention of disease.”
When he announced the emergency, the governor called for a temporary four-month statewide ban on the sale of flavored and non-flavored vaping products in both retail stores and online. The ban will apply to tobacco and marijuana. The ban, which may be found here, took effect immediately upon approval from the public health council and will continue through January 25, 2020.
No products may be sold or displayed that meet the definition of “vaping products” in the ban. That definition is “any product intended for human consumption by inhalation regardless of nicotine content, whether for one-time use or reusable, that relies on vaporization or aerosolization.” The ban will be enforced by the Department of Public Health, the Cannabis Control Commission, and the police. We will continue to update clients as developments occur.