BOSTON — A controversial four-month ban on the sale of vaping products in Massachusetts survived an initial test in federal court Friday, preserving for now the strongest measure taken by any state to combat vaping-related lung injuries that are on the rise.
U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani is expected to deny a temporary restraining order sought by vaping shops and companies to halt the ban. She said at a morning hearing she will release a written order later today.
But a broader legal challenge to the ban won't be decided until later this month. The judge set a hearing for Oct. 15 to take up the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction to stop the ban, which Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced Sept. 24.
The judge's decision followed a morning hearing on the lawsuit brought by vape shops and vaping companies against Baker and the commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The ban applies to online and retail sale of all kinds of nicotine and marijuana vaping products and devices, and extends through Jan. 25, 2020. Retail shops were forced to clear shelves of products after a state health board approved Baker's plan.
In deciding against a temporary restraining order, Talwani ruled the companies have not suffered "irreparable harm" to warrant immediate relief.
Separate complaints in Boston federal court came from a coalition of five Massachusetts vape shops and the Vapor Technology Association, the lobbying arm of e-cigarette companies and vaping products.