The cloudy debate around Missoula's vape laws – The Missoulian

Missoula’s new smoking law is at once needed, inevitable, fair and likely to hurt businesses, depending on whom you ask.

The law, which updates and expands the 2006 Montana Clean Indoor Air Act to ban vaping indoors, and all types of smoking in certain outdoor areas, is running through the wringer at Missoula City Council, now in its fourth week of discussion.

Missoula would become the ninth jurisdiction to pass a smoking law expansion in the state — the most recent being Yellowstone County, whose smoking law is being challenged in court even as it takes effect this spring.

And Missoula, not known for falling in line with the rest of Montana, briefly considered an untried exemption for vape shops, where it’s standard practice to let customers test products in the store. None of the other eight laws exempt vape stores.

That exemption likely won’t happen — nor will the legal troubles — as the Missoula City Council and city-county health department press on, hoping all the troubles go up in smoke.

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