Missoula to discuss adding e-cigarettes to smoking ordinance - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Missoula to discuss adding e-cigarettes to smoking ordinance

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Missoula City Council is planning to update its smoking ordinance to address the popularity of new devices.

According to the council agenda, a new proposal from the Missoula City-County Health Department seeks to update Missoula’s smoking ordinance. The city’s law hasn’t changed since it first banned smoking in most indoor public places in 1999.

In 2005, the Montana State Legislature passed a statewide law banning indoor public smoking in most places; by 2009, the ban extended to bars. Since then, city health officials say Missoula’s law hasn’t been as strict as state law. They propose revising the current city law to clarify enforcement procedures, update rules for smoking in public parks, and address e-cigarettes or “vaping.” Seven other Montana communities have already outlawed vaping in public spaces.

City officials say private-owned businesses would also like the option to ban smoking within 25 feet of their doors, to prevent secondhand smoke from wafting inside.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that e-cigarettes, which were introduced in 2006, are harmful and produce secondhand vapors that contain nicotine, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and other carcinogens, just as traditional cigarettes do.

The public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for Missoula City Council chambers on Feb. 26.

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