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Missoula County commissioners to consider extension of vaping ban next week

Posted at 4:07 PM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 12:49:57-05

MISSOULA — Missoula County commissioners are ready to consider a proposal to extend a ban on flavored vaping products outside the city limits but will take a final round of public comments this coming week.

The county is considering a resolution for what's called "extraterritorial application" of the ordinance first approved by the Missoula City Council in November. The rules ban the sale of all flavored vaping products.

However, supporters say it's primarily focused on the display of any kind of "self-service" tobacco products in all businesses, except locations where children aren't allowed by law.

The ordinance also reinforces the prohibition on selling tobacco products to anyone younger than 18. The Missoula City-County Health Board already approved extending the ban outside city limits in mid-December.

Now, commissioners are considering whether to follow suit, with a public hearing now scheduled for next Thursday. If the commissioners approve the resolution, the rules would take effect for businesses outside the city limits at the end of February.

The ordinance is already creating interest in the Montana Legislature, with Representative Ron Marshal of Hamilton introducing a bill that seeks to separate tobacco and so-called "alternative" nicotine products such as electronic cigarettes and vaping supplies. If approved, it could effectively overturn Missoula's ban.