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Montana temporary vape ban expires

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“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (2) – 4/16/20

Ah, the good ol’ days, October 2019, when the nation’s biggest news story was a spate of hospitalizations due to e-cigarettes. While tragic, the fear stemming from the deaths and hospitalizations pales in comparison to those generated by COVID-19, which has brought humanity to its knees in every corner of the globe. Back then, Montana’s Gov. Bullock, just as with COVID-19, was progressive compared to peers and was among but a handful of legislators to take actionable steps to save lives, most notably a temporary, statewide 120-day ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarette products. That ban went into effect in December, and ended yesterday, April 15. While most vape distributors across the state have been deemed “non-essential,” and therefore closed, lobbying groups have already begun to call for openings as they note convenience stores selling cigarettes have remained open throughout the COVID-19-related shutdowns. According to Montana Public Radio, “The Montana Health Department Wednesday issued a statement saying it continues to be concerned about the high rate of youth use of e-cigarette products. The agency says people who smoke or vape may be more at risk of experiencing severe illness from COVID-19.”

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