Electronic cigarettes have made an appearance in Massachusetts. E-cigarettes are battery operated nicotine delivery products which vaporize a liquid solution into a mist. The devices are used to simulate smoking. Vaping, short for vaporizing, is the colloquial term for using these devices.
Originally, e-cigarettes were marketed as aides to tobacco cessation. Between 2008 and 2010, the FDA tried to regulate what they considered an unapproved drug/device combination. The manufacturers of the devices sued. In 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in Sottera, Inc. v. Food & Drug Administration, 627 F.3d 891, held that e-cigarettes and other products made or derived from tobacco can be regulated as “tobacco products” under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (Tobacco Control Act); they are not drugs/devices unless they are marketed for therapeutic purposes. The FDA now solicits information on adverse effects with e-cigarettes, and provides the public with information about the devices.
According to a recent article in the Boston Globe, “an increasing number of Massachusetts communities have recently joined Boston, which passed regulations in late 2011 to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products, banning their use in the workplace and restricting their sale to adults only. A number of states, including New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Maryland, have prohibited sales to minors, while others have curbed use in public places. Massachusetts has not taken either action.” On July 1, Rhode Island’s Legislature passed a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. The Governor, with the support of the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association, vetoed the bill. His reasoning was the ban was “‘counter-productive,’ since it did not simultaneously introduce regulatory requirements and taxation provisions,” arguing that laws regarding e-cigarettes “should mirror tobacco product laws.”
“Massachusetts Law About Smoking” also has yet to catch up to regulating vaping.