This guest post was authored by Ashley Hall, MS, Program Manager of the Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership.
A new tobacco law in Massachusetts is now in place and it affects where tobacco and vaping products can be sold. These changes are designed to reduce the youth vaping epidemic in Massachusetts and stop tobacco companies from targeting and addicting young people. The tobacco and vaping industries have long targeted youth, LGBTQ populations and communities of color, resulting in terrible health consequences for the public.
Here’s a simple summary of how the law will change where and what tobacco and vaping products can be sold.
- The new law substantially restricts where e-cigarette and nicotine vaping products and flavored tobacco products can be purchased.
- Now all flavored e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping products can only be purchased for on-site consumption at licensed adult-only smoking bars in Massachusetts.
- Non-flavored nicotine products with a nicotine content of 35 milligrams per milliliter or less can continue to be purchased at stores licensed to sell tobacco products like convenience stores, gas stations, liquor stores and bodegas.
- Non-flavored nicotine products with over 35 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine content can only be purchased at licensed, adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars.
- Beginning on June 1, 2020, menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products like cigars and flavored chewing tobacco can only be purchased for on-site consumption at licensed, adult-only smoking bars.
- Also on June 1, 2020, the price of e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping products will increase because of the addition of a 75% excise tax on the wholesale price.
The new law substantially restricts the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products to protect youth since flavors, including mint and menthol, are a leading reason they start using them. Local Boards of Health have the authority to assure that the new law is being followed by retailers in their communities. For more information, visit mass.gov/NewTobaccoLaw.
Contact Ashley Hall, MS, Program Manager of the Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 799-8643 to learn more about how this new law will protect youth from tobacco addiction and fight the tobacco industry’s targeting of youth, LGBTQ and communities of color with vaping products and menthol cigarettes.
Help for those who want to quit vaping, smoking or using other tobacco products is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and KeepTryingMA.org. Organizations that want to support people in quitting can contact Ashley Hall for information and guidance on simple strategies they can implement.