When vaping burst on the scene a few years ago, the idea of a healthier, smoke-free cigarette sounded too good to be true.

Turns out it was.

This week, Massachusetts became the first state to suspend sales of vaping products when Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency. The four-month suspension is designed to give health officials time to dig into a mysterious spate of illnesses and deaths linked to e-cigarettes.

As of Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control had documented 805 cases of lung injury and twelve confirmed deaths nationwide from vaping. In Massachusetts, at least 60 people have been treated for lung ailments believed to be linked to vaping.

Vaping is especially pernicious among young people, who are attracted by additives in a choice of fruit and menthol flavors that mask the heavy dose of nicotine being delivered. Eighty-three per cent of those with confirmed lung problems are under 35, and sixteen per cent are under 18, according to the CDC.

A Martha’s Vineyard Hospital spokesman said this week its emergency room and physician practices have not seen any lung problems linked to vaping here to date. Vaping is banned at the high school, but a 2018 survey by the Youth Task Force found that 36 per cent of students had recently vaped.

Given the troubling and apparently growing health threat, the governor’s temporary halt to sales of vaping products seems sensible and wise.