Letter

The Place for E-cigarettes is Outside

HB 137 will set us back 30 years and put Montanans at risk

By Stephanie Brancati

It took decades to understand the dangers of secondhand cigarette smoke. We’re ahead in learning about secondhand smoke from alternative nicotine devices such as e-cigarettes. Supporters erroneously claim they release only water vapor. Along with water vapor is acetone, formaldehyde and propylene glycol in addition to heavy metals nickel, tin, and lead. Exposure to secondhand aerosol is not safe. It’s why vaping should be kept outdoors.

Who opposes indoor vaping? The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Given the toxins in vape aerosols, why is the Montana Legislature considering a bill that would allow the use of e-cigarettes in most public buildings? Alternative nicotine products contain nicotine, and produce secondhand aerosols, but they do not contain plant tobacco. HB 137 seeks to identify them separately from tobacco products; thus laws pertaining to indoor smoking would not pertain to e-cigarettes. In addition, the bill states that Health and Human Services and local health departments cannot create new, or continue any existing regulations about e-cigarette use. Existing tobacco product regulations, including indoor use restrictions, would not pertain to e-cigarettes.

The 2005 Montana Clean Indoor Act, created before vape products existed, would not apply to e-cigarette or other vape products. There would be no protection to exposure to dangerous secondhand vape aerosols at grocery stores, restaurants, airports, banks, and businesses.

HB 137 will set us back 30 years and put Montanans at risk. The place for e-cigarettes is outside. Please contact your Montana senator to oppose HB 137. 

Stephanie Brancati
Big Arm

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.