Statement: New law to combat youth tobacco use goes into effect today

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Statement: New law to combat youth tobacco use goes into effect today

BOSTON – A new law aimed at stemming the youth vaping epidemic, “An Act to Modernize Tobacco Control,” goes into effect today. The ban, which passed in the legislature in November, is the first state law that prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and chewing tobacco. It’s a major step to protect youth because 80% of youth who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. 

The law also taxes tobacco vaping products at the same rate as cigarettes, increases retailer fines for sales to minors, and provides for insurance-covered tobacco cessation tools.

The passage of the law was supported by many community and public health leaders. An ad, which ran in the Boston Globe today, thanked Massachusetts for their leadership.

MASSPIRG Legislative Director Deirdre Cummings released the following statement upon the law going into effect today.

“The importance of this ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products is even more profound as we battle COVID-19, an infectious disease that primarily attacks the lungs. Research suggests that smoking and vaping impair lung function, making it harder to fight the infection.  

“Massachusetts is leading the way in preventing the tobacco industry from using flavored tobacco to hook youth and others into what too often becomes a lifetime addiction to a deadly product.  Banning the sale of all flavored products will protect our children’s health from the e-cigarette epidemic, which is currently choking our country.