Monday, May 20, 2024

Missoula Votes on Monday to Ban Flavored Vapes Not Cigarettes


The Montana city of Missoula wants to ban flavors in e-cigarettes and vapor products, but not combustible tobacco products. The Missoula City Council will vote Monday on the flavored “tobacco ordinance that prohibits the sale of flavored electronic tobacco products,” according to an article in the Missoulian.

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Credit: Marko Sokolovic

The ordinance would also prohibit self-serve access to all tobacco products. The vote comes after the city’s Public Safety and Health Committee approved Wednesday amendments to a proposed ordinance which previously sought to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the city. The bill was originally proposed last month.

On Wednesday, the Public Safety and Health Committee approved the amendments in a 9-2 vote with Councilor Jesse Ramos absent and Councilors Sandra Vasecka and John Contos voting against the changes. The ordinance will go before council for final consideration on Monday, Nov. 23.

The changes to the proposed ordinance came after extensive public comment and criticism by some, including the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce, who said the ban was too broad and would harm local businesses. The ordinance aims to prevent youth access to and use of tobacco and nicotine, and is sponsored by council members Mirtha Becerra, Gwen Jones, Stacie Anderson, Heidi West and Julie Merritt.

Becerra said the new ordinance focuses on flavored electronic tobacco products because they come in an array of flavors and packaging that she said is targeted to children.

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