Business owners worry as Baker takes steps to keep vape ban in place

BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker tells Boston 25 News that he plans to file a proceeding on Monday to keep the state's vape ban in place. Last week a judge ruled that the state's ban was not properly issued, giving the Governor until Monday to re-issue the ban in a new format.

Vape shop owners were hopeful they could sell products once again this coming week, but that won’t be the case since Gov. Baker says he plans on filing the proceeding with the Secretary of State when the week begins.

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Although shop owners say this ban is closing their businesses, Gov. Baker says it's more important to keep people safe. He says the Public Health Council has voted to support the four-month ban and paperwork will be filed this week.

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"We were getting ready for Monday," said Bahrem Agha, the owner of a vape shop in Saugus. "Our employees were happy they would get their jobs back..."

But now, Gov. Baker says the CDC will collect data for those four months to get a better idea on what needs to be done.

"We need to figure out exactly what the cause of this is so we can put a regulatory framework in place and inform the public about exactly what the public health risk[s] associated with vaping are," Gov. Baker said. "And until we're pretty sure about that, I don't think we'd be doing our jobs."

Baker and his administration will need to write a small business impact statement and hold a public hearing before December 24.

Agha says the abrupt ban has put a strain on his business and his livelihood. His brother and he put their lives on hold after losing thousands in business.

"Our bank accounts are depleted, credit cards maxed out, we have no cash to sustain the business anymore," he said.