Missoula officials approve ban on indoor vaping

HELENA- The flavored e-cigarette ban was slated to go into effect on October 22 and three people have filed a petition for review saying the ban goes against their legal rights and ability to conduct business.

On October 8, the Office of the Governor released a statement saying Governor Steve Bullock directed the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to implement emergency administrative rules to temporarily prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

After the ban was announced, owners of vape shops around Great Falls said the ban could put a lot of them out of business.

A petition for judicial review was recently filed against the decision to implement emergency administrative rules to temporarily prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in Montana.

The president of Montana Smoke-Free Association, Lucas Anderson, the Vice-President of the Montana Smoke-Free Association, Ron Marshall and the owner and president of Liberty Smoke, Inc, Tommie Dobbs, all had affidavits attached with the petition for judicial review.

The petition states that the ban will affect vape shop owner’s legal rights and their ability to run their businesses.

All three of the people who gave statements said they would all be affected by the ban and that they would be forced to close their businesses and lay off employees.

The petition also states that the ban will affect adults who use the flavored liquid for e-cigarettes, saying that adult ex-smokers rely on such products to quit smoking.

The documents ask the Court to prohibit enforcement of the emergency rules, and state that they are unenforceable and go beyond legal authority.

In a release from the Secretary of State for the notice of the adoption of temporary emergency rules, it is stated that the emergency rules that were put into effect were necessary.

The notice says the emergency rules are necessary because, no other administrative act can be taken to avert the imminent peril to public health, safety, and welfare of Montana youth who vape or may be considering trying vapor products. The explosive growth of youth use of vapor products in the state has been concerning, but the present outbreak of lung injury and death associated with vaping gives rise to an immediate and alarming condition of public health importance. For the foregoing reasons, the department enacts these emergency rules.

The ban was supposed to go into effect on October 22, however, according to the Missoulian, a Ravalli County District Judge signed a temporary restraining order that prohibits the enforcement of the emergency rules for now.

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