The following is an update from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) sourced through their December 18th online bulletin. Reposted with permission.
As part of NATO’s continued reporting on state actions regarding restrictions on the sale of electronic cigarette and nicotine vapor products, below is an update on litigation and other state actions that have occurred this week.
State of Montana: Late yesterday, December 17, 2019, a Ravalli County, Montana judge issued a court order denying a motion for a preliminary injunction against the Montana Department of Health and Human Services’ emergency administrative rules to prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in the state. The order also dissolved the temporary restraining order that the court initially issued on October 18, 2019 prohibiting the enforcement of the emergency rule.
This means the emergency rules are now in effect and the Montana Department of Health and Human Services is enforcing the emergency rule as of 1:00 PM Mountain Time today. Montana retailers should immediately remove all flavored electronic cigarette and flavored nicotine vaping products from store shelves since the sale of those products under the emergency rule is prohibited. A person who violates any provision of the emergency rule can be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 6 months and a fine of up to $500. Each day in violation of the rules is a separate offense.
According to the Frequently Asked Questions form and the actual emergency rule, the emergency rules do the following:
- The distribution, sale or offer for sale of flavored electronic cigarettes and flavored nicotine vaping products is prohibited in the State of Montana. Flavored electronic cigarettes and flavored vaping products that impart a taste or smell only of tobacco or marijuana may continue to be sold.
- The prohibition also applies to all flavored electronic cigarettes and flavored vaping products if they contain nicotine or THC.
- The sales ban applies to on-line sales also if the product is intended to be delivered to a person living in Montana.