Thursday, November 14, 2019

In the News: non-binary gender for state licenses; MA House votes to ban flavored cigarettes

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Massachusetts residents can now have a non-binary gender designation on state driver’s licenses. 
The state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles says it now recognizes three gender designations: “male,” “female” and “non-binary.” 
The change took effect Tuesday. 
According to the state Department of Transportation, those designations are available for new credentials, renewals and amendments of licenses and IDs."
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"The Massachusetts House voted Wednesday to ban the sale of flavored vaping and tobacco products -- including mint and menthol cigarettes -- and to impose an excise tax on e-cigarettes. 
Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, a main proponent of flavor ban legislation, said the vote marked “a chance to put an unprecedented nail in the coffin of Big Tobacco.” The bill passed on a vote of 126-31. 
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said the bill would make Massachusetts the first state to restrict the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. House Speaker Robert DeLeo described Wednesday’s vote as “a nation-leading step ... to modernize our laws that regulate tobacco.” 
The action in the House came almost 16 months after Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law raising the tobacco-buying age from 18 to 21 in an effort to curb youth smoking. Spurred by high rates of youth e-cigarette use, anti-tobacco advocates have been pushing to go further by banning all flavored tobacco products, which they say are designed to appeal to children and, in the case of mint and menthol, mitigate the harsh effects of smoking traditional cigarettes."

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