“I’m officially declaring a public health emergency in the Commonwealth due to severe lung disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes and marijuana-infused vaping products,” said Gov. Baker during a press conference last Tuesday.
This proposal comes in response to the panic spreading across the States due to the infamous cases of “vape-related” lung disease. A man from Kansas has become the ninth person to die of this condition and the total number of reported cases has now hit 530. The other tragic deaths took place in California, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri and Oregon.
“I’m requesting that the public health council order a four-month temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products in retail establishments, online and through any other means, effective immediately,” added Baker, “We as a Commonwealth need to pause sales in order for our medical experts to collect more information about what is driving these life-threatening vaping-related illnesses.”
If this ban goes through, Massachusetts will be the first state to implement such a measure. Being proposed for four months, the ban would last till January 25, 2020, and would apply to all vaping products and electronic devices.
“Vape-related” lung disease linked to unlicensed THC
A man from Kansas has become the ninth person to die of this condition and the total number of reported cases has now hit 530.
The CNN reported that earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health had mandated that physicians across the state immediately report any suspicious vaping-associated lung disease to the department. According to the governor’s offices, as of last Tuesday, 61 cases have been reported to the department.
“Vaping is a public health crisis and it is imperative that we understand its impact at both the individual and overall health care system level,” said inaccurately Massachusetts’ Secretary of the Executive Office of Health & Human Services, Marylou Sudders.
“As a result of the public health emergency, the Commonwealth is implementing a statewide standing order for nicotine replacement products, like gum and patches, which will allow people to access these products as a covered benefit through their insurance without requiring an individual prescription,” she added.
Meanwhile confirming previous reports, a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, has indicated that the vast majority of patients suffering from the condition, had vaped unlicensed THC products.
UK public health officials keep recommending e-cigs for harm reduction
Meanwhile in the UK, where vaping products have been successfully endorsed as smoking cessation tools, and as a result the country is recording the lowest smoking rates to date, Public Health England (PHE) is reassuring vapers in the UK that their stance remains unchanged.
“Our advice on e-cigarettes remains unchanged – vaping isn’t completely risk free but is far less harmful than smoking tobacco. There is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping,” said the PHE on Twitter.