Marion Health officials discuss vaping during state-wide ban
MARION — With Governor Charlie Baker’s four month vape ban in full effect, the Marion Board of Health took time to discuss vaping and tobacco use in the town at their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1
The statewide ban prohibits the sale of all vaping products for four months, in response to a growing number of severe lung illnesses caused by vaping across the country.
The Marion Board of Health also voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in town on July 16, with the exception of menthol and wintergreen flavors. On Oct. 1 Board Member Dot Brown explained that flavored vapes and tobacco products are especially dangerous because of how effectively they are marketed to young people.
Health Director Karen Walega said that she has started going to local retailers to ensure that they are in compliance with the new town and state regulations. She said that out of the five businesses with a tobacco license, Cumberland Farms was the only business in town that previously sold vapes and flavored tobacco products.
She also said that representatives from the Kittansett Club said that while they used to sell cigars in their pro shop, they may not reapply for a tobacco license next year. Walega and board members discussed the possibility of limiting the town to four tobacco licenses to prevent a new business from coming in and selling more products, but no final decision was made.
Public Health Nurse Kathy Downey said representatives at the Old Rochester Regional High School said that vaping seems to be less prominent at the school now, compared to last year. She added that it was unclear what exactly has led to the drop in vaping, but suggested that the recent ban and media coverage may be contributing factors.
Downey also said that she plans to present findings from the most recent Tri-town Youth Risk Behavior Survey at the next Board of Health meeting. The survey will have more specific data on vaping’s prominence among local teenagers.