A Massachusetts bill imposing a tax on e-cigarettes and other vaping products was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on Nov. 27 and goes into effect June 1.
The bill also limits the sale of all mint and menthol flavored tobacco and vaping products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco, "to licensed smoking bars where they may only be smoked on-site,” according to NPR.
The NPR report said that Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to enact such “stringent controls.”
Gov. Baker announced the same day that the state’s vaping products sales ban, a temporary ban which went into effect in September according to NPR, will remain until Dec. 11 in order to give the Massachusetts Department of Public Health time to create new regulations.
The Massachusetts vaping tax imposes an excise tax of 75 percent on the wholesale price of electronic nicotine delivery systems. As reported by Law360, electronic nicotine delivery systems are defined in the bill as electronic cigarettes, vape pens, and any other devices that rely on vaporization or aerosolization of nicotine. The vaping tax also applies to standalone vapor products such as liquids or gels that are sold separately from e-cigarettes themselves.
According to Law360, lawmakers said that the vaping tax is important for curbing the rise of youth vaping and e-cigarette use.
Titled "An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control," the legislation passed the state Senate with a 32-6 vote. The house had already passed the bill on Nov. 13.
Though health officials have supported these efforts, the state has been embattled legally by the Vapor Technology Association, which has challenged the vaping sales ban in court.