Last October Montana’s Gov. Steve Bullock, had announced that a temporary ban on the sales of all flavoured vaping products and e-cigarettes. The ban was set in place for six months from Oct. 22nd to Feb. 19th, in response to the EVALI situation. “Young Montanans are using e-cigarettes at an alarming rate, while officials investigate the possible causes of a national outbreak of e-cigarette-related injury and death, leaving us at a crossroads,” said Governor Bullock at the time. “Today, I choose action.”
Polling ballots will be sent to Montana legislators by this week, and must be postmarked by Sept. 8th.
Subsequently on June 16th, the health department proposed a permanent ban saying that flavours are increasing teen vaping rates and this proposed measure was brought up again during a special meeting of the legislative Children, Families, Health and Human Services Committee supporters of the ban. “Usage of e-cigarettes is a public health crisis in our state, and protecting our children’s health is a top priority of this department,” said health department director Sheila Hogan.
Supporters of the ban cited the recently released study by Stanford researchers, suggesting a significant link between vaping and a substantially increased risk of COVID-19 in youth. The study reported that vapers are five to seven times more likely to contract the virus than non-vapers.
Flavour ban opposed
However last month, thirteen Republican Montana senators and seven representatives, signed letters opposing the rule on grounds that the health department does not have the authority to implement such a ban. “We have three branches in our government,” said Sen. Jason Ellsworth, R-Hamilton. “We do not have a fourth branch, we do not have a branch called the Department of Health and Human Services, or any other department that can create law.”
If passed, the measure would ban all sales, distribution and marketing of electronic smoking devices in Montana, yet State law dictates that a poll of the legislature is required when 20 or more legislators object to a proposed measure. Polling ballots will be sent to Montana legislators by this week, and must be postmarked by Sept. 8th. The poll results will be provided to the Montana secretary of state for publication.
Read Further: Great Falls Tribune
Another Study Finds That Banning Flavours Increases Tobacco Consumption
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