Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts issued an emergency order on Tuesday that bans all vaping products in the state. The governor’s move comes as he declared a public health emergency with the ongoing rash of serious lung illnesses that have been linked to vaping.
The ban was swiftly approved by the Massachusetts Public Health Council on Tuesday and went into effect immediately. The prohibition on vape products is currently scheduled to end on January 25 of next year, although it could be extended by Baker or the council.
Baker said at a press conference at the State House on Tuesday that a meeting with healthcare professionals last week prompted him to act, saying he found their experiences with the crisis “deeply troubling.”
“One of the experts said that, ‘We don’t have time to wait. People are getting sick and the time to act is now.’ I couldn’t agree more,” Baker said.
Dr. Alicia Casey, a pediatric pulmonologist at Boston Children’s Hospital who appeared at the press conference with the governor, said that some of the hospitalized teens she has been treating required ventilators to survive and could have permanent lung damage.
“I can assure you that these products are