Store Owners, Vapers Decry Gov. Baker's Ban At Public Hearing

vape ban public hearing

(Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — In a standing-room only Department of Public Health hearing, business owners, vapers, and at least one doctor asked DPH and Gov. Charlie Baker to call off the Massachusetts vape ban.

The hearing came about because the four-month temporary ban was instituted with no public input, which a judge ruled was wrong.

Jonathan Lau owned two vape shops for over a decade. He said he's losing $120,000 a month, and that he's about to declare bankruptcy.

"You don't know if you have a business, you don't know how you're gonna provide for your family," he said.

Lau brought his family with him, saying people "deserve to see who's affected by this" ban.

"Why does the government ban vaping but not smoking?" Lau's young son asked the room.

Dr. Michael Siegle, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, pointed out that every case of vaping illness deaths identified by the CDC has been linked back to THC cartridges containing vitamin E acetate.

"It's not that it's not a health concern, it's that the products that they're banning in response to this outbreak are not the products that are causing the outbreak," he said. "It would be like if you had an outbreak due to contaminated lettuce, and you banned all cabbage. It doesn't make sense. Why put all these businesses out of business when it's not actually helping to prevent this outbreak?"

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports

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