MISSOULA – Missoula County commissioners are being asked to follow the City of Missoula’s lead in approving rules banning the use of e-cigarettes indoors.
Missoula approved the addition to the city’s smoking ban earlier this spring and now the Missoula City Council Health Department is asking the commissioners to follow suit.
The Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, which was approved in 2005, required indoor spaces to be "smoke-free" but exempted bars, casinos and taverns. However, that changed to include all businesses nine years ago.
However, Missoula leaders realized those rules didn’t reflect the growing use of electronic cigarettes for vaping and controlling exposure to those sources of second-hand smoke. The rules adopted by the Missoula City Council also call for efforts to inform teens of the health hazards of vaping.
A county ban would extend in a five-mile radius around Missoula, stretching from The Wye to Lolo and east to Turah if the proposal is approved. A public hearing is expected in June.