BOSTON – Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted in support of legislation that would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the Commonwealth, including mint and menthol flavors, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars. It would also tax e-cigarettes at 75% of wholesale and improve access to cessation services.
The following can be attributed to Marc Hymovitz, Massachusetts director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):
“Today the Massachusetts House voted to disarm one of Big Tobacco’s most dangerous weapons: flavored tobacco products. While Massachusetts has long been at the forefront in this area, we are poised to lead the nation by passing legislation that would prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, keeping these deadly products out of the hands of our kids.
“A newly released study from the Centers for Disease Control shows that 64% of middle and high school students who use tobacco products use a flavored product. The fact is, Big Tobacco has spent decades manipulating tobacco products to create flavors they know will hook another generation of kids, and today’s vote has brought us one step closer to bringing this trend to an end in Massachusetts.
“Additionally, we have decades of evidence to show that increasing the price of tobacco is proven to be an effective way to prevent children from starting. By increasing the price of e-cigarettes and treating them like all other tobacco products, it will make it more difficult for kids to begin using tobacco products and become lifelong customers of the tobacco industry.
“We urge the Senate to follow House lawmakers in passing this comprehensive piece of tobacco control legislation. Taken together, the proposed flavored tobacco sales restrictions, tax equalization, and cessation components of this bill would be truly life saving for kids across Massachusetts. ACS CAN looks forward to working with lawmakers to pass this bill in its current form.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.