House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) posted the following message today after Governor Charlie Baker announced a public health emergency stemming from the use of vaping products:
Governor Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency today in response to a growing number of reported lung illnesses – both in Massachusetts and across the country – that appear to be linked to the use of vaping products.
To address this serious public health issue, the Governor has announced an immediate ban on the sale of all flavored and non-flavored vaping products and devices, including tobacco and marijuana. The statewide ban applies to all retail store sales as well as online transactions, and will be in effect until January 25, 2020.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are now 530 “probable” cases of lung illnesses linked to vaping in 38 states, seven of which have proven fatal. The Governor’s office revealed today that there have been three confirmed cases and two probable cases in Massachusetts reported to the CDC. Although no single product has been identified as the primary cause of these illnesses, many of those affected have reported using either Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products, or both THC and nicotine products.
I strong support the actions taken by the Baker-Polito Administration today. As the growing number of reported cases show, this is an emerging health crisis that demands immediate action by the state. While the temporary ban is in effect, Governor Baker says his administration will be consulting with medical experts and the Legislature to determine what additional steps should be taken to protect the public, including passing legislation and making other regulatory changes. I look forward to taking part in these discussions and to working with the Administration to come up with additional solutions to ensure the public’s safety.
A copy of the Governor’s declaration is available at https://www.mass.gov/guides/declaration-of-public-health-emergency.
If you or someone you know is trying to stop smoking or vaping, you can call the state’s Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit makesmokinghistory.org.