On Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate passed H.4196, a bill that will ban the sale of flavored tobacco products statewide, joining the House in passing the proposal and sending it to the governor for his signature.

The ban has garnered particular attention because it includes both mint and menthol on the list of prohibited flavors, something that has been seen as an attack on certain cigarette smokers.

In addition, the bill would place a new 75 percent tax on the sale of e-cigarettes. If passed, retailers who violate the ban would face a punishment including losing their state lottery retailer license.

The Senate’s vote comes just about a week after the House of Representatives approved the original version, H.4183, by a 127-31 vote.

According to a report by the State House News Service, the two chambers agreed to a compromise bill, which they are sending to Gov. Charlie Baker for his signature. If the governor signs the bill—which he has not indicated a position on—the ban would go into effect immediately as it pertains to e-cigarettes and vaping devices, while it would apply to other tobacco products on June 1, 2020.

While Baker’s position is not entirely known, he declared a public health emergency in September and put a temporary ban on the sale of vaping products in place.

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Patrick Lagreid

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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.