Massachusetts’ Flavored Tobacco Ban Now in Effect

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As of today, the sale of flavored tobacco products is now illegal at most retailers in the state of Massachusetts.

The one exception to the new law is that businesses defined as “smoking bars” will be able to sell flavored tobacco products and vaping products for on-site consumption. As to what constitutes a smoking bar, per the state’s General Laws, it is:

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an establishment that: (i) exclusively occupies an enclosed indoor space and is primarily engaged in the retail sale of tobacco products as defined in section 6 for consumption by customers on the premises; (ii) derives revenue from the sale of food, alcohol or other beverages that is incidental to the sale of a tobacco product and prohibits entry to a person under 21 years of age; (iii) prohibits a food or beverage not sold directly by the establishment from being consumed on the premises; (iv) maintains a valid permit for the retail sale of a tobacco product as required to be issued by the appropriate authority in the city or town in which the establishment is located; and (v) maintains a valid permit issued by the department of revenue to operate as a smoking bar.

Tobacco or other nicotine delivery products that include any added flavorings, including mint and menthol, are included in the ban.

The bill also places a new 75 percent excise tax on vaping products and e-cigarettes. It received overwhelming support in both chambers of the legislature, passing the House by a 127-31 vote and the Senate by a 32-6 vote. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill on Nov. 27, 2019.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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