Montana Health Department Proposes Permanent Ban On Flavored Vapes
Montana's health department is proposing a permanent ban on the sale of flavored vaping products in response to increasing youth e-cigarette use.
The Department of Public Health and Human Services will take public comments on the proposed ban during a virtual hearing on July 16th and by mail, fax and email.
The department says it has the authority to adopt and enforce rules regarding public health issues.
Nicole Aune is the program manager for the state-run tobacco use prevention program.
"We are concerned about flavored e-cigarettes primarily because we are experiencing an epidemic of youth e-cigarette use in the nation and in Montana," Aune says.
Owners of vape shops have said adults use the flavored products to help them quit smoking. A four-month ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes ended in mid-April.
Deanna Marshall owns the Hamilton Freedom Vapes which challenged the state health department's temporary ban on flavored vape products. Marshall says the agency can not legally enact this rule and she vows to openly defy it.
"They don't have the authority to create laws that have criminal penalties."
Montana has historically ranked above the national average in youth vaping rates.