Massachusetts becomes 1st US state to ban flavoured tobacco

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New Delhi: Massachusetts on Wednesday become the first state in the United States to ban flavoured tobacco and nicotine vaping products, including menthol cigarettes, after Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill to that effect.

This law seeks to make these flavoured tobacco products less attractive to the youth amid a wave of vaping-related illnesses and deaths, Efe news reported.

Anti-smoking groups hailed the initiative, which restricts the sale and consumption of flavoured vaping products immediately and that of menthol cigarettes from June 1, 2020.

In recent months, Massachusetts and other states, including Michigan, Montana, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington, have temporarily banned or restricted the sale of vaping products.

But Massachusetts is now the first state to impose a permanent ban on all flavoured tobacco or nicotine vaping products.

The new law specifically restricts the sale of these products to licensed smoking bars, exclusively for on-site consumption.

The ban extends to menthol cigarettes and flavoured e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco.

It also imposes a 75 per cent excise tax on nicotine vaping products and gives public health officials new authority to regulate the products.

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