The House is developing a “comprehensive” bill to regulate vaping products, and the chamber’s top Democrat, Robert DeLeo, said Wednesday he is unsure if the bill will address the Baker administration’s four-month ban on sales of e-cigarette products.
The Public Health Committee advanced a bill last week — one day after Governor Charlie Baker announced the ban — that would outlaw sales of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, which opponents say are targeted at children and teens.
DeLeo said at the time that lawmakers planned to draft a broader bill to control and regulate vaping. Baker imposed the ban unilaterally, and it’s unclear where lawmakers stand on it.
Asked Wednesday if the legislation would codify or extend Baker’s ban, DeLeo replied, “That I don’t know at this point.”
“I think one of the major topics is stopping the different flavors, shall we say, in the various tobacco products,” DeLeo told reporters. “I think that’s probably going to be one of the major, main ingredients of it right now.”
The first-in-the-nation ban on all e-cigarette sales came amid reports of a lung illness linked to vaping, including more than 70 in Massachusetts. Baker said the pause will allow officials to get a clearer sense of the problem, but several businesses have sued the administration over the restriction.