Montana Public Radio

Freedom Vapes

A sign on at a Montana vape shop tells customers that the sale of flavored vape products has been temporarily banned by the governor.
Raph Graybill-Office of the Governor.

Some Montana vape and e-cigarette retailers are once again squaring off with the Bullock administration over the state’s temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products.

This time they disagree on when it ends.

Vaping device
iStock

One Montana vape store chain says it will continue providing its customers with the flavors they want despite the state’s temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products.

A vape device with flavor liquids.
iStock

At least one Montana vape store is quickly pivoting to stay open under the state’s new temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products.

Montana’s Freedom Vapes stores are now offering customers do-it-yourself vaping kits in a potential workaround for the state’s new ban. This option comes 24 hours after the start of a four month statewide ban on the sale of flavored vaping products.

Flavored vape products on display at an Oct. 30, 2019 state district court hearing in Hamilton over Montana's temporary vape ban.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s health department says it will begin enforcing its emergency ban on the sale of flavored vaping products beginning Dec. 18. The agency today said a temporary restraining order preventing the ban from taking effect expired October 28.

Six weeks ago Ravalli County District Judge Jennifer Lint heard arguments on a motion by industry groups seeking a preliminary injunction against the ban. Lint has not yet issued a ruling.

A vape device with flavor liquids.
iStock

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s order to temporarily halt the sale of flavored e-cigarettes will not go into effect next week after all. On Friday, a state district judge blocked the administration’s move until a hearing later this month.

Montana vape shop retailers last week vowed to challenge Bullock’s order to temporarily halt the sale of flavored e-cigs. They made good on that promise in a Thursday court filing, and State District Judge Jennifer Lint of Hamilton has backed them up, at least for now.

Vape device
iStock

Gov. Steve Bullock’s order to temporarily ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes was heralded this week by state health officials. Montanans who rely on e-cig sales, however, say Bullock’s move will devastate their livelihoods, and they plan to sue.

Proposed E-Cig Tax Draws Opposition

Jan 22, 2019
Senate Bill 96 proposes a 50-percent tax on vaping products.
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HELENA — Opponents are lining up against a proposed 50-percent tax on vaping products.

Twelve people testified against Senate Bill 96 on Tuesday. They argued e-cigarettes have nicotine, but they don’t have tobacco and shouldn’t be taxed like tobacco. Robert Story, executive director of the Montana Taxpayers Association, said taxing vapes is just putting a sales tax onto a specific retail item.

Groups in support of I-185 held a press conference across from the Capitol in Helena Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

A fight backed by hospitals and tobacco companies over an initiative that will appear on Montana ballots this November has amassed more than $2 million. 

Ballot Initiative 185 asks voters to raise taxes on all tobacco products, and for the first time tax e-cigarettes and vaping products, to fund health programs, including the state’s Medicaid expansion.