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.”
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