Just after midnight on Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate has passed a bill that would ban all flavored tobacco products, according to State House News Services.
The 32-6 vote came following hours of debate during the last day of formal session Wednesday and trickled slightly into Thursday.
Known as An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control, the bill will apply to all tobacco products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco and include all menthol products.
Bristol Plymouth First District State Senator Michael Rodrigues who serves as Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee did have a problem with that final part.
“I do have a problem with the bill that includes menthol cigarettes,” he said. “Overall, though, I support the flavored vaping ban. Vaping products will still be allowed in over 21 stores for non-flavored vaping products.”
The bill will also implement a 75 percent excise tax on e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Rodrigues said the purpose of addiction prevention in young people.
“All of the flavors, be they menthol, be they bubblegum, be they cotton candy – they all raise concerns that they’re actually marketed and targeted towards young folks to get them hooked on nicotine,” he said.” We know that nicotine is an addictive component in cigarettes. It’s an addictive component in vaping products, also.”
Health coverage for tobacco use cessation products and counseling will also be expanded with this bill.
“The more we can do to prevent young people from getting addicted to nicotine, I think, the better off we all are,” Rodrigues said.
The Massachusetts House signed a similar bill last week. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is expected to sign the bill into law without hesitation.