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Judge allows vaping ban to stay in place for now, but rules governor may have overstepped legal bounds

Governor Charlie Baker’s blanket ban on nicotine vaping products remains in effect but is on shaky legal ground, after a judge ruled Monday that officials likely overstepped constitutional bounds by enacting the policy before affected businesses and members of the public could weigh in.

Ruling on a request from vape companies to lift the ban while legal battles over the rule play out, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Wilkins ordered that nicotine vape sales in Massachusetts must be allowed to resume next Monday — unless the Baker administration submits the ban for consideration as a formal emergency regulation.

Wilkins’s order also leaves in place for now Baker’s ban on marijuana vaping products, saying evidence collected by federal health officials suggests those products are more likely the culprit behind thousands of lung illnesses and 33 deaths around the country.

To implement the nicotine vaping ban as an emergency regulation, state health officials would have to hold a public hearing and draft a statement explaining how the ban would impact small businesses, among other requirements. Also, emergency regulations may only be imposed for three months at a time, while Baker’s initial emergency ban announced in September was scheduled to last four months.  [Read More @ The Boston Globe]


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