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Amendment Reverses Vehicle Confiscation Language In Vaping Ban Law

Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that makes Massachusetts the first state to ban the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products— including mint and menthol cigarettes. The measure also imposes a 75 percent excise tax on e-cigarettes. One of the provisions of the new bill would have allowed police to confiscate a car transporint untaxed vaping devices.
     However, the State Senate voted 39-0 [along with Groton State Senator Edward Kennedy] [S2407] to approve an amendment that would delete the section from the new Vaping Ban that allowed police officers who discover untaxed e-cigarettes, vaporizers, vape pens, e-cigars, e-hookah and other vaping devices in the possession of a person who is not a licensed distributor, to seize the items and any vending machine or other receptacle including a motor vehicle, boat or airplane in which the items are found. The items would be forfeited and turned over to the state which would destroy the items and either destroy or auction off the vehicle.
     Amendment supporters said the section is draconian and goes too far by allowing law enforcement to confiscate a person's car for simply possessing untaxed vaping equipment. They said the Senate must make sure the state doesn’t overstep its bounds and seize and sell or destroy a car that a person needs to go back and forth from work and for daily living.
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