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Montana health department to enforce temporary flavored e-cigarette ban next week

Posted at 3:25 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 18:46:01-05

The Montana health department announced Friday it will start enforcing a temporary ban of all flavored e-cigarette products statewide next Wednesday as new cases of vaping-related injuries have emerged.

The restrictions include sales of flavored nicotine, THC and CBD e-cigarette products, both in stores and online, according to a release from Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Stores will not be required to destroy existing inventory.

The 120-day emergency ban was first announced by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock in October, and a coalition of vape shops sued to stop it. The case was heard by District Judge Jennifer Lint in Ravalli County, who issued a temporary restraining order to block the ban.

The 10-day temporary restraining order expired in October, opening the door for enforcement, according to the health department. The ban will begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Health department officials said they have confirmed five additional cases of Vaping Product Use Associated Lung Injury since the original emergency ban was announced. The agency continues to investigate multiple other cases.

Vaping industry advocates have argued that the majority of vape-related health problems can be attributed to lacing the product with THC, and they cited recent studies from the federal Centers for Disease Control as evidence.

Montana health officials say the CDC has found the first potential chemical of concern and not the conclusive cause of vaping-related health problems. They added in the news release that some cases including in Montana were associated with nicotine-only vapers, and the cause remains unknown.