Health inspectors doing compliance checks at Mass. vape shops

Health inspectors to begin compliance checks at vape shops

BOSTON — The emergency ban on selling vape products in Massachusetts has some businesses shutting down.

In Quincy, there are 120 shops that sell vaping products, and for some of them, it's all they sell. Elite Vapor says the temporary ban is shutting them down.

"I probably have over a quarter of a million in inventory in retail value," said Chris Tran.

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Tran says his thriving vaping business can't survive Governor Charlie Baker's emergency order.

"The state doesn't want us to destroy them but if we can't sell them there is not much we can do," he said. "I bought a bunch of moving boxes and we're going to pack up everything and strategize."

Quincy health inspectors were visiting more than 100 businesses that sell vaping products.

Baker's order bans the sale of all vaping products for the next four months. The state is asking local health departments to make sure everyone is complying.

"If it is not taken off the shelves tomorrow then our inspectors will issue a cease and desist order and then 24 hours after the cease and desist order they will go back again and we can take legal action if necessary," said Ruth Jones, Quincy Public Health Commissioner.

Anthony DeAngelo told us he spent more than $200 in supplies to keep vaping for another two-and-a-half months.

"Yesterday when I heard I went and stocked up," he said.

Tran says he will keep fighting to prove their products are not a health risk.

The state also sent the local health departments signs to be handed out for stores to post.

We reached out to the Boston Public Health Commission regarding its enforcement of the vaping order. They told us:

"The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) inspectors are actively working to share information about the requirements of the public health emergency declared yesterday with Boston retailers. If vaping products are found being offered for sale during the duration of the order, BPHC will issue a Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) cease and desist letter as instructed by MDPH.
Under Mayor Walsh's leadership, the Boston Public Health Commission and Board of Health are actively moving forward with engaging the community through a comment period regarding a regulatory proposal to reduce youth nicotine initiation over the long term. BPHC remains committed to permanently closing the menthol loophole for both tobacco and nicotine products as well as ensuring retailer accountability as important next steps to ensure that Boston's young people are protected from lifelong nicotine addiction."