New Montana Law Changes How E-Cigarettes Can Be Sold
On Tuesday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed Senate Bill 66 , which prohibits the sale of electronic cigarets, a.k.a. "e-cigarettes," to minors.
The bill was sponsored by Sen. Diane Sands of Missoula and introduced at the request of Attorney General Tim Fox. Montana Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes says e-cigarettes needed more regulation to prevent their abuse by youth.
"[E-cigarettes] are becoming more and more popular," Barnes said. "You will find some people who use them as a tool to help them quit smoking, they can be useful in that regard. But, they can be just as dangerous as regular cigarettes, and yet there is no where near the regulatory oversight there on e-cigarettes that we see on regular cigarettes."
Barnes said some businesses had already changed the way they were selling e-cigarettes, but not enough of them were.
"A lot of businesses voluntarily were saying, 'we're going to put these behind the counter, we're not going to sell these to children under the age of 18,'" Barnes said. "They were doing that on their own, but, nonetheless, there were businesses that were not doing that and electronic cigarettes were in reach of minors in almost every community in Montana."
The new law will go into effect starting Jan.1, 2016.