Vaping industry spends big in Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The vaping industry spent more than $554,000 lobbying Montana lawmakers and donating to campaigns from 2016 to 2019.

The Billings Gazette reports that Montana health officials earlier in October documented the state's first death from vaping and earlier reported at least two cases of severe lung illness related to vaping.

Legislative records show that most bills tackling vaping issues in the 2017 Legislature died. In 2019, seven bills covering the same subjects were either killed or never advanced beyond draft form. Lawmakers this year did vote to ban vaping at public schools.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock ordered a 120-day ban on sales of flavored vaping products to begin Oct. 22, but on Friday a Ravalli County District Court judge granted vape shops' request to delay that ban.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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