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Judge Delays Flavored Vaping Ban a Week – Hearing on Merits Oct. 30

Helena, MT, wildfire
Smoke rises from a wildfire outside Helena, MT

Yesterday Governor Bullock’s flavored vaping ban was placed on hold for a week by a judge, as requested by the vaping industry in Montana. This means that Montanans will be at risk for another week during this public health crisis.

Veteran Montana reporter Mike Dennison tweeted:

This is not a decision on the merits. This is a standard delay tactic by a party, the hearing will present the evidence and the judge will then soon after decide if the ban can go into effect.

The emergency rules are necessary while the research is done to diagnose the exact nature of this public health crisis. The CDC cannot exactly yet diagnose what is causing these major respiratory concerns that are known to be correlated to people who use vaping products.

Products like:

Bubble gum. Cotton candy. Green apple dream.

These are not products made for adults. Adults have the right to subject themselves to personal harm by consuming alcohol and tobacco, but these products are marketed toward children. Children do not have the capacity or right to decide if they should be using products like this. This is marketing directed at children and these ‘poor me’ businesses should be ashamed.

Children are getting sick and now we have a confirmed teen death in Montana from this vaping related illness.

Now, doctors worry that the vaping related illness could increase the risk of death in the flu season.

CNBC reported: Vaping illness deaths climb to 33 as outbreak spreads and doctors worry flu season could make it worse

The Billings Gazette editorial board published an important piece:

Publicity about the severe, sometimes fatal, lung illness linked to vaping has finally got people’s attention for the warnings pediatricians have been sounding for years.

“Vaping is not a safer way to smoke. That’s a perception that teens have,” Higgins told The Gazette. Adolescent use has skyrocketed with kid flavors that taste great.

The Gazette continued:

Nicotine by itself is highly addictive. Recent research indicates that combining nicotine with sweet flavors may increase the likelihood that a user will continue to use. Pediatricians worry especially about the effect of nicotine on young people’s brains which are not fully developed until around age 25.

White is president of the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which issued a statement last week applauding Gov. Steve Bullock’s announcement of a 120-day public health emergency ban on sales of flavored vaping products in the state. Bullock said the ban, issued under authority of state law, would take effect on Oct. 22.

The pediatrician’s group cited several disturbing reasons to discontinue sales of fruit and candy-flavored vaping products:

  • 58% of Montana high school students report having vaped, according to a statewide survey earlier this year.
  • 30% report regular use.
  • Harmful toxicants and carcinogens in vaping aerosols may affect people near the e-cigarette user in much the same way that secondhand smoke affects nonsmokers, according to research reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Vaping products have hooked children and teens with flavors like cotton candy and gummy.

The Billings Gazette concluded that:

E-cigarette merchants say they are in business to provide adult smokers with an alternative to traditional cigarettes. They offer products to help smokers quit, they say. The ban on fruit and candy flavors won’t interfere with that adult market niche.

However, we know that thousands of Montana teens (and millions of U.S. teens) and even children have been vaping with shocking frequency. If the kids stop using, there will a drop in sales — and a significant increase in young brain and lung health.

This is a really great analysis, if the vaping industry really cares about people and Montana kids, then they will have no reason to sell these flavored products.

They can help cigarette smokers get off of dangerous cigarettes and not addict a new generation of children to nicotine with these flavored vaping products that are harming people and we don’t yet know how or why. We must diagnose this public health crisis first and how to stop it, the ban is necessary.`

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Nathan Kosted

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