A Massachusetts judge ruled this week that the state’s four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products and e-cigarettes is likely to remain in effect, however, just for a week. The ruling, made by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins, came after the Vapor Technology Association and vape store owners called for the ban to be lifted in a grievance against the Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker & Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel. Wilkins wrote, “Though the plaintiffs have shown a likelihood of accomplishment, the balance of harms weighs in defendants’ favor in some respects, and an immediate injunction against the order would breach the public interest.”
Wilkins also ruled that, when we talk about nicotine-vaping products particularly, the order “is preliminarily enjoined” from enforcement and implementation after October 28, 2019. In the meantime, the state will have to make certain changes to the order for the sale of nicotine, containing vaping products. “The court, as a result, allows the defendants an opportunity to cure the defects,” Wilkins ruled concerning the sale of nicotine-containing products. “Nothing in this Memorandum & order can affect the authority of the defendant’s Order as applied to products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and to black-market products or any other cannabinoid.” Craig Rourke, Rourke Law Office, Massachusetts, which represented the plaintiffs, stated that his clients are “extremely encouraged.” He added that the ruling shows that the governor’s ban on all vaping items “was unauthorized,” and once changes are made, it is expected to be a “considerably different” law. In the meantime, the Baker management stands by its decision-making behind executing its ban. “The management declared a public health emergency as well as ordered a four-month temporary ban for retail & online sales of all vape items to understand what is making people unwell,” Baker’s office stated in a statement this week.
Massachusetts was the first state to issue this sweeping ban, which was executed in September 2019. The ban extends to all vaping devices and products, which include marijuana and tobacco. The ban comes in the wake of a multi-state outbreak of lung diseases linked with vaping, which is presently being investigated by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.