Missoula, Montana Wants To Ban Vaping And E-cigarette Use Indoors
Missoula, Montana wants to ban vaping and e-cigarette use indoors and their city council will hold a public hearing on Monday, 26th of this month at 7pm to discuss adding vaping to their smoking ordinances.
The ordinance broadening the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act also would outlaw smoking and vaping in certain public areas such as playgrounds, sports fields, Silver’s Lagoon and the duck ponds on Bancroft Street, along with other areas.
Banning smoking outside of a business is optional, according to the ordinance. It would be up to each business owner to put up signs and handle low-level enforcement but businesses would be able to ban smoking withing 25 feet of their premises.
The Montana Clean Indoor Air Act bans smoking inside enclosed spaces, but it does not currently cover vaping.
Ward 5 representative Julie Armstrong said the City-County Health Department has worked on a strengthened citywide smoking ban for a couple of years, specifically wanting to include some outdoor spaces — like curbside restaurant patios — and vaping.
“Our rules have been less stringent than the state’s for years,” Armstrong said. “This gives them the opportunity and the choice to enforce it, which before there were no repercussions, no consequences for people smoking.”
People can’t exactly just call the cops on a smoker though. City police and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office reportedly say they don’t have the resources to patrol for unlawful smokers, or to write up a ticket every time someone lights up at a city park.
“A policeman won’t come up and write a ticket,” City-County Environmental Health Director Shannon Therriault said. “It could become trespass or disorderly conduct.”