'It's not fixing the problem': Users say vape ban is feeding the black market

BOSTON — The state's vaping ban will continue for now after a judge denied a motion aiming to take it down.

On Wednesday, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins rejected Vapor Technology Association's motion to block the vaping ban as applied to nicotine vaping products, keeping the state's vaping ban in effect.

The judge's decision came just hours after the state announced its second vaping-related death, a woman in her 40s from Middlesex County.

In light of the announcement of the death, Governor Charlie Baker suggested extending his four-month vaping ban.

>> Related: Latest vaping news in Mass. and across the country

The Baker Administration sent Boston 25 News the following comment:

"The administration declared a public health emergency in Massachusetts and ordered a temporary ban for retail and online sales of all vape products.  To date, 204 suspected cases of vaping-related lung injury have been reported to DPH, along with two confirmed deaths in Massachusetts.  With today's ruling, the ban remains in place. The CDC has issued a clear warning stating that the outbreak of these vaping-associated lung illnesses and deaths cannot at this time be attributed to a single substance or product and has urged consumers to stop vaping, as medical experts continue to research what is making people sick."

Despite the current administration's efforts to curb vaping in Massachusetts, vape users told Boston 25 News the ban has only made it easier for people to get their hands on black market products.

Black market products have gained notoriety nationwide as states continue to crack down on vaping, but recent studies found them to be full of pesticides and harmful chemicals such as hydrogen cyanide and vitamin E acetate.

"It’s not fixing the problem," said Edward Prudent.

Many say the ban isn't going to stop people from getting their hands on vaping products, but rather that it'll drive them to the black market.

"You telling teens to stop doing something is going to make them want to do it even more," said Angie Figueroa. "They keep a stock in their car in their house, they text their friends, 'Let people know, spread the word, I have this, I can sell this.' It’s so easy to get it."

Besides finding other sources for their product, some people are opting to make their own vape juice at home.

"There are some places that do deliver and stuff," said Nicole McLaughlin. "It’s kind of kept under the table, [the ban] is not stopping it. people are finding smarter ways to actually get it."

Stores around the state won't be able to legally sell vape products until Jan. 25, 2020.

>> MORE: State: Ban costing vape shops up to $8 million in sales