More States Take Action Against Flavored E-Cigarettes

Approving legislation

NATIONAL REPORT — Legislative action against the sale of electronic cigarettes shows no signs of letting up.

On Oct. 8, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock directed the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services to implement emergency administrative rules to temporarily prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

"Young Montanans are using e-cigarettes at an alarming rate, while officials investigate the possible causes of a national outbreak of e-cigarette-related injury and death, leaving us at a crossroads," Governor Bullock said. "Protecting the health, safety and well-being of all Montanans — especially our kids — is one of my top priorities as governor, and I join the other parents across this state knowing we cannot rest until we do everything we can to keep our kids safe."

The emergency rules go into effect on Oct. 22 and will remain in effect for 120 days, the maximum time allowed by law. The ban includes the sale of all flavored e-cigarette products, including flavored nicotine, THC and CBD vaping products, in-store and online. The ban does not require retailers to destroy their existing inventory, according to the governor's office.

Bullock's order follows a similar in Oregon. On Oct. 4, Gov. Kate Brown issued Executive Order 19-09, directing state agencies to enact a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, as well as other sources or additives as they are identified in cases of vaping-related lung injury or death.

"My first priority is to safeguard the health of all Oregonians," Brown said. "By keeping potentially unsafe products off of store shelves and out of the hands of Oregon's children and youth, we prevent exposing more people to potentially dangerous chemical compounds, and help lessen the chance of further tragedy for any other Oregon family.

Brown also called on the federal government to act to address vaping-related illness. "This order will help protect Oregon households in the short term, but federal action is long overdue to address this national public health crisis," she said. "It's time for the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] to regulate flavored vaping products and other additives for what they are: products that are addictive, dangerous, and targeted squarely at our youth."

The order calls for a 180-day ban on all flavored vaping products under the emergency rulemaking authority of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The order also directs state agencies to develop legislative proposals for long-term solutions for consideration by the state legislature.

In addition to the temporary ban, the executive order calls for state agencies to develop plans within 90 days regarding:

  • Consumer warnings about the dangers of vaping;
  • Ingredient disclosure for vaping products;
  • Testing of vaping products to determine product safety;
  • Improving healthcare provider reporting of vaping-related lung;
  • Injuries to OHA;
  • Increasing access to FDA-approved cessation services and methods; and
  • Establishing a statewide prevention and education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping products.

Brown's order also calls for the formation of a Vaping Public Health Workgroup to advise the governor and state agencies, examine the evidence about the causes and effects of vaping-related lung injuries, and collect stakeholder feedback and input about the vaping public health crisis. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also convened a task force in mid-September and recently said he would work to implement its recommendations, which include a ban on the sale of flavored electronic smoking devices and products.

"The recent spate of lung disease and deaths across the country due to electronic smoking device use is startling," Murphy said. "In just 21 days, the Electronic Smoking Device Task Force has set forth a comprehensive list of recommendations to protect New Jersey residents from the inherent dangers associated with vaping. My administration will act swiftly to implement the task force's recommendations and we ask our legislative partners to do the same. We must work together to protect the health and safety of New Jersey's youth."

The Electronic Smoking Device Task Force recommendations include:

  • Banning the sales of Flavored Electronic Smoking Devices and Products, including menthol;
  • Increasing the penalties for unauthorized sales;
  • Restricting online sales;
  • Increasing compliance buys;
  • Prohibiting advertising and sale of covert products;
  • Strengthening point-of-sale practices;
  • Ensuring uniform regulation of the marketplace;
  • Developing a centralized state retailer registry; and
  • Increasing interagency collaboration.

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