Led by advocates, county officials marched closer to extending the City of Missoula’s ban on flavored vaping products five miles beyond the city’s urban boundary on Tuesday.
But residents outside Missoula cautioned county commissioners against placing city rules on county residents when those county residents cannot vote on the city officials who adopted the ordinance.
The City Council adopted its ban on selling and displaying all flavored electronic tobacco products in November. The ordinance, which goes into effect this month, underwent a number of hearings and revisions.
Now, like then, tobacco opponents are using statistics to note the dangers of flavored vaping products in hopes the county will extend the city ban.
“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, and nearly all tobacco use starts in youth and young adulthood,” said Arwyn Welander, the county’s tobacco prevention specialist. “The introduction of electronic devices has shifted the kind of tobacco youth use.”
According to Welander, frequent vaping among Montana high-school students increased 243% between 2017 and 2019 while daily use of the product increased 263%. Research suggests that children who vape are more likely to become cigarette smokers in the future.
Welander also said that sweet, candy flavored vaping products