Berkshire businesses work around temporary state-ordered vaping ban

EGREMONT — Valerie Angell lit her first cigarette when she was 13 years old. She carried the habit for nearly 40 years.

It wasn’t until five years ago when she started vaping as a way to wean herself from nicotine. She recalls refilling her personal vaporizer with various levels of flavored nicotine when the products were first starting to gain popularity.

In that time, Angell says she’s only had one cigarette. In January, she plans to be two years clean from cigarettes, also marking two years since her mother died.

Overall, she says vaping has been extremely successful in helping her quit smoking.

But the electronic device that Angell attributes to breaking her smoking habit is no longer available in stores, amid a public health emergency and a four-month ban of all vaping products statewide, declared by Gov. Charlie Baker last week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 12 deaths occurring in 10 different states due to reported lung injury cases.

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