Montana takes steps to ban flavored e-cigarettes

Montana takes steps to ban flavored e-cigarettes

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services recently filed a proposed rule with the Secretary of State to make permanent rules prohibiting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes. The state temporarily halted the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in October via emergency action.

Before the rule goes into effect, a public hearing and public comment period will be held.

Between 2017 and 2019, e-cigarette use among high school students increased from 11.7 percent to 27.5 percent, according to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. A total of 70 percent of youth who smoke cited flavors as the reason and 97 percent reported using a flavored product in the past month.

In Montana, 30.2 percent of high school students use e-cigarettes, compared to 7.7 percent in other states.

“We commend Gov. (Steve) Bullock for his strong leadership in confronting the youth e-cigarette epidemic and protecting the health of Montana’s kids,” Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president, said. “Today’s action couldn’t come at a better time as health experts are warning that smoking and vaping can worsen the effects of COVID-19. The coronavirus attacks the lungs, and behaviors that harm the lungs put individuals at greater risk. The harmful impact of smoking on the lungs is well documented, and there is growing evidence that e-cigarette use can also harm lung health.”