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Massachusetts approves ban of flavored tobacco products

BOSTON — Massachusetts lawmakers have passed a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.

The ban was passed by the Senate early Thursday before the legislature broke for a holiday recess. It had earlier been passed by the state House of Representatives.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said “This nation-leading step will save lives.” It is believed to be the first such statewide legislation in the country.

The legislation now goes to the desk of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who in September declared a public health emergency and ordered a temporary ban on the sale of vaping products.

Jonathan Shaer, president of the New England Convenience Store Owners and Energy Marketers Association says the bill will have “disastrous implications for public health, public safety, state tax revenue and jobs.”


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