Friday October 18, 2019

Federal Judge Uphold Massachusetts’ Four-Month Ban on Sale of Vaping Products

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani denied the vaping industry’s request for a temporary reprieve from the ban while their legal challenge plays out.

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Demonstrators gather at the Massachusetts State House to protest against the state’s four-month ban of all vaping product sales in Boston, Oct. 3, 2019. VOA

A federal judge upheld Massachusetts’ four-month ban on the sale of vaping products Friday, at least for now.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani denied the vaping industry’s request for a temporary reprieve from the ban while their legal challenge plays out in Boston federal court, saying the plaintiffs did not show they would likely succeed on the merits of the case or that the “balance of hardships” weighs in their favor. Talwani had said in a hearing earlier in the day that the legal motion felt premature and that the public health concerns prompting the ban likely outweigh any short-term impacts to local businesses.

Another court hearing is set for Oct. 15 where both sides are expected to deliver more extensive arguments in the case.

Lawyers representing local vape shops argued that small, independent operators are being disproportionally hurt by the ban, with many forced to lay off staff or close their shops entirely.

Federal Judge, Massachusetts, Vaping
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker speaks with reporters, Sept. 16, 2019, at the Statehouse, in Boston. VOA

“You’re saying I ought to be more concerned about the economic harm to businesses for a two-week period than the potential people who will end up in the hospital during this two-week period?” Talwani asked industry lawyers at one point during the hearing.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker issued the ban and declared a public health emergency Sept. 24 after more than 60 potential cases of lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping were reported to the state.

The state Public Health Department has since said at least 10 represent probable or confirmed cases of lung illness caused by e-cigarette products. Nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said 18 have died and 1,080 people have been sickened.

Baker has said the ban will allow health officials to determine the cause of the illnesses and decide what further steps are required.

Also Read- Low Birth Weight Linked to Chronic Health Conditions Later in Life

At least three lawsuits have been filed in state and federal court challenging Massachusetts’ ban, which runs through Jan. 25, 2020, and is considered among the harshest imposed on the industry. Several states, including Michigan, Oregon and Rhode Island, have issued some kind of ban. On Thursday, an appeals court in New York temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a proposed ban on sales of flavored e-cigarettes.

The Vapor Technology Association, a national trade group that’s challenging the bans, argued in its federal lawsuit in Massachusetts that the ban will cause “irreparable harm” to their multimillion-dollar industry.

It also said the ban poses a public health risk by eliminating what it argues is a safer alternative to tobacco and forcing those seeking vaping products to find them on the black market. (VOA)

Next Story

Even Short-term ‘Vaping’ can Cause Inflammation, Says Study

With the recent reports of lung disease and deaths associated with vaping, the effects of vaping nicotine and marijuana oils makes this research more critical, said the researchers

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US, CDC, Vaping
FILE - A high school student uses a vaping device near the school's campus in Cambridge, Mass., April 11, 2018. VOA

E-cigarette use has risen at concerning levels among both smokers and non-smokers and now researchers from the Ohio State University have found that even short-term vaping could cause cellular inflammation in never-smoker adults.

Using a procedure called bronchoscopy to test for inflammation and smoking-related effects, researchers reported a measurable increase in inflammation after four weeks of e-cigarette use without nicotine or flavours.

The study suggested that even short-term usage could result in inflammatory changes at a cellular level.

“Through the randomised clinical trial of healthy never-smokers over a month, we found that an increase in urinary propylene glycol, a marker of inhalation-e-cig intake, was significantly correlated with increased inflammatory response in the lung,” said the study’s first author Min-Ae Song from Ohio State University.

For the study, researchers recruited 30 healthy, non-smoking volunteers to directly assess the impact of tobacco and e-cig use on the lungs through bronchoscopy, an outpatient test in which a doctor inserts a thin tube through the nose or mouth to view the airways.

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Nicotine vaping on rise among US teenagers: Survey. Pixabay

A small sample of lung cells was collected from fluid in the lungs.

Participants were randomised to a four-week intervention with e-cigs containing only 50 per cent propylene glycol (PG) or 50 per cent vegetable glycerine (VG) without nicotine or flavours.

Results from these tests were then compared to a separate control group of never-smokers.

Also Read: Heavier Babies are More Prone to Childhood Allergies: Research

Researchers did not see levels of inflammation higher than the controls, but there was an increase in inflammation among the users who inhaled more of the e-cigarette.

With the recent reports of lung disease and deaths associated with vaping, the effects of vaping nicotine and marijuana oils makes this research more critical, said the researchers. (IANS)