After banning flavored vaping products within city limits, Montana lawmakers have now proposed legislation to overturn that.
State Rep. Ron Marshall, R-Hamilton, Mt., intends to amend the state’s Youth Access to Tobacco Act by further clarifying that local governments must regulate alternative nicotine products, like e-cigarettes, from the legal definitions of what is a tobacco product.
The bill Marshall proposed is House Bill 137. According to the official legislation, House Bill 137 will prevent and stop any further regulation on nicotine and vapor products by local and county governments. Health Boards and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services are also prohibited from further regulating flavored e-cigarettes and vapor products unless the policies match entirely different regulatory standards that deal with non-tobacco and non-combustible nicotine-containing products.
KPAX 8, a local Fox News affiliate broadcasting to Western Montana, reported that Missoula’s flavored electronic cigarette products ban could be overturned by House Bill 137. Vaping Post previously reported that Missoula County — the next level in local government surrounding Missoula — wishes to extend the city’s flavor ban into county lands through the use of extraterritorial powers, which extends the limits of the flavor ban by five miles (over 8km) outside of city limits.
“It needs to be addressed,” said Marshall in a statement, via KPAX 8. According to local media outlets reporting on other issues, Marshall is said to be a co-owner of Freedom Vapes, which is a small vape shop chain in the towns of Belgrade, Bozeman, and Hamilton. Marshall was a part of a trade association that sued Montana’s governor for implementing a 120-day stay on flavored vape sales some time ago.
Marshall and his business partner were apart of the Montana Smoke-Free Association.
Now, Marshall is trying to take his experience running a vape shop to the legislature. House Bill 137 is a result of this.
“There’s a lot of holes, and 56 counties in Montana means 56 different sets of rules. Everything should go through the legislative body when it comes to law. It’s just one of those things where everybody needs to be on the same page, and we need to have a clear definition of what these products are,” Marshall said, via KPAX 8.
This is a developing story.