GREAT FALLS — A Great Falls group is the latest in Montana to attempt to locally restrict the sale of flavored nicotine products.
Montana Kids vs. Big Tobacco, a statewide campaign based in Helena, has organized a group of health professionals, educators, business people and parents in Great Falls who are circulating a letter addressed to members of the Great Falls City Commission. The letter asks commissioners to "move forward a city ordinance that will protect our youth from this dangerous trap by restricting the sale of all flavored tobacco products in all locations in our city.”
The letter claims that flavored nicotine products are used by tobacco companies to addict young people.
“Tobacco is a product that if you use if intended, it will kill you,” said CB Pearson, campaign manager for Montana Kids vs. Big Tobacco. “It’s the only product out there that’s like that sold on a commercial level — and so they have to have replacement smokers."
Opponents to such efforts say banning flavored tobacco could prompt young people to use more harmful substances instead.
The letter comes a little more than a month after the Missoula City Commission passed a ban on flavored tobacco products in e-cigarettes and vapes. Pearson said he expects a similar agenda item to come before the Great Falls City Commission early this year.