Could MA vape products ban inadvertently harm health?

A temporary ban on the sale of vaping products in Massachusetts has drawn criticism from some public health experts.

In a September 26, 2019 WBUR story, Vaughan Rees, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that the ban removes a product that adult smokers can use to reduce their health risks from using traditional cigarettes. Under the ban, nicotine-dependent people “may be faced with the prospect of returning to smoking,” Rees said.

The ban may also push young people who vape to turn to conventional cigarettes, Rees said. Although there are concerns about the health risks of vaping products, it’s known that the risks of smoking traditional cigarettes are much higher. “We don’t want to unintentionally encourage kids who cannot access vaping products to begin smoking,” Rees said.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced the four-month statewide ban on the sale of vaping products on September 24, in the wake of a multi-state outbreak of lung disease in the U.S. linked to vaping.

Listen to the WBUR story: Why Some Public Health Experts Are Critical Of Baker’s Vaping Ban

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Cutting through the smoke (Harvard Chan School feature)