A Massachusetts commission created in 2018 to study the use and potential regulation of vaping products got beat to the punch by the Legislature last year, but its chairs intend to use the group instead to monitor the effectiveness of last year’s vaping law and look at ways to improve education around smoking.
State Senator John Keenan and Representative John Mahoney, the chairs of the special legislative commission, said they are still considering what the goal of the commission should be and when it should produce a final report. The commission held its second meeting on Tuesday and will focus at its next meeting on tobacco education, according to Mahoney.
Keenan, however, told the tobacco industry representative on the commission from Reynolds, “I have no interest in going back and relegislating.” He was responding to the suggestion that the commission look at vaping and possible regulations as if no law had been passed last year.
The special commission was created by the 2018 law that raised the statewide tobacco purchasing age to 21. The commission was to study the use of vaping and e-cigarette products, investigate how minors were getting access to such products, and consider ways to regulate the vaping industry.
The commission was supposed to make its recommendation by Jan. 1, 2020, but didn’t even meet for the first time until Dec. 19, 2019 after the Legislature had already passed a law banning all flavored tobacco and nicotine products to curb youth tobacco use.
The commission now intends to monitor the effectiveness of that law and look at ways to improve anti-smoking social media campaigns and education.