Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court has put a lawsuit by the Vapor Technology Association on indefinite hold. The lawsuit challenges the state’s emergency ban on vapor products, and was signed into effect by Republican Governor Charlie Baker in September.
The hold comes as the result of new, pending legislation which would pass certain restrictions on vapor products from emergency executive order into normal state law. This would end the emergency executive order. According to Baker, that legislation will be under discussion tomorrow — Wednesday, December 11, 2019 — by the state’s Public Health Council, according to CBS Local Boston. At the adoption of new regulations into state law, Baker intends to lift the emergency ban, which would eliminate the cause of VTA’s current lawsuit.
Presumably, this action would likewise be repeated with regard to a second and separate lawsuit filed on the same grounds against Baker’s administration by a trio of independent vape shops: Mass Dynamics in Weymouth, Boston Vapor in Salem, New Hampshire, and Vick’s Vapor in Medford. Attorney Craig O’Rourke, representing the businesses, said of the ban at the end of September:
“It’s going to put them out of business. It’s a death sentence. They’re trying to figure out what to tell their families and their employees.”
According to reporting from WBUR Boston, the state’s Public Health Council began formulating an outline of proposals for future regulation the day after the announcement of the ban. Chief among these proposals was a ban on flavored vapor products. It is expected that the Public Health Council will not have abandoned that proposal in its recommendations to Baker for whatever regulation is added to state law.