MASSACHUSETTS (WPRI) — As Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s temporary vaping ban is facing legal challenges, lawmakers are looking to pass a bill that would permanently ban all flavored tobacco products.
The current temporary four-month ban only bans flavored e-cigarettes; the new proposal would also include flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes.
If the bill is passed, it would not be susceptible to legal challenges, such as the ones surrounding the temporary ban.
With Gov. Baker’s temporary ban in place, lawmakers worry that those affected would move to a more addictive alternative.
Sen. John Keenan backs the proposal and says the approach must be two-fold.
“For all those kids that they’ve gotten addicted when they have to go somewhere, tobacco will welcome them right back to menthol,” Keenan said. “We can’t let the industry survive like they did before with menthol cigarettes and then let them survive with flavors on the e-cigarette side. It has to be comprehensive.”
Kennan hopes the proposal will be voted on by the time Massachusetts’ lawmakers break on Nov. 20.