Much to the chagrin of vape stores, a federal judge in Boston did not authorize a temporary restraining order, allowing them to instantaneously resume sale of vaping products. As a result, the state-wide ban on vaping products to regional buyers stays on.
On September 24th, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency citing numerous illnesses and deaths across the nation due to vaping. Baker asked for a temporary ban on the sale of vaping products, also restricting the display of the products for public viewing. With the emergency declaration implemented, the Department of Public Health lanced a four-month ban, giving researchers ample time to evaluate the reason behind an upsurge in illnesses caused due to vaping.
Vapor Technology Association and attorneys for several local vape shop owners argued against the ban, deeming it as an existential threat to their business and noting that a two-week wait for a preliminary injunction hearing will cause them irreparable harm.
Running counter to their argument, Judge Indira Talwani set an October 15th hearing to reassess the industry’s petition for a preliminary injunction to end the ban.
Attorney Craig Rourke said while he will be able to argue completely on the merits of the case later this month, the ban will put his clients out of the business.
“Many of my clients are like most of us: We struggle hard from week to week to pay for gas or to buy groceries, to make the rent or to pay the mortgage. Two weeks without income can be a very difficult hardship,” he said.
The Attorneys representing the state argued that the ban should stay in place because of the high health risk possible related to vaping.
Assistant Attorney General Julia Kobick informed Judge Talwani that the Legislature gave the governor the authority to declare a public health emergency. Moreover, Kobick told Judge Talwani that the ban was set up in an attempt to avoid more illnesses.
DPH informed WBUR there have been eleven suspected cases of vaping-related illnesses in the state as of Wednesday. According to the agency, five of the aforesaid cases have been confirmed and reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What do you think about the judge’s decision to not lift the ban? Let us know in the comments section below.