Montana’s ban on vape and e-cigarette sales goes into effect on Oct. 22.
A federal attorney tells MTN News that the Montana Smoke Free Association will file for an injunction to put the brakes on Governor Bullock’s temporary vaping ban.
Some shop owners say if this doesn’t work, it could mean the end of their business.
“I don’t know anybody who can survive without an income for four months," said Deanna Marshall, co-owner of Freedom Vapes in Bozeman.
On Oct. 22, the state will temporarily ban all e-cigarette and vape sales — but not if the owners of Freedom Vapes can help it.
“It’ll happen probably within the next 24 hours," said Ron Marshall, co-owner of Freedom Vapes, on Tuesday.
The Marshalls say the injunction will be put before the state district court judge, who could decide to halt the ban, again temporarily.
“There are shops across Montana that are already saying that they’re going to go ahead and close up," Deanna said. "Montana’s going to be a big, fat loser in this.”
According to the Marshalls, this injunction includes around 20 other vape shops across the state. If it fails, their fear: people will step back to unhealthy practices.
"You’re throwing them under the bus," Ron said. "You’re going to force them back to combustible cigarettes again."
“They’re going to go and buy flavors off of the shelf at Walmart and try to put it in their vaping juice," Deanna added.
The Montana Smoke Free Association is enlisting the help of three attorneys, including federal attorney Greg Troutman, managing partner at Troutman Law Office PLLC.
“The Department of Health propagated this emergency rule under a statute that is very clearly a language that is to be used very sparingly," Troutman said.
"This is not an emergency situation. There are things that the department could have done on a much more narrow basis to craft a rule that doesn’t paint with such a broad brush,” he added.
The Marshalls hope the injunction buys time. “If they get away with this once, what’s next?” Ron said.
Two cases of vaping-associated illnesses related to e-cigarettes have been reported in Montana.