On Monday, the Missoula City Council passed an ordinance that will ban the sale of flavored tobacco products within the city, as well as changes some laws regarding access to tobacco products.
Beginning in late January, the city will prohibit tobacco retailers from selling or offering to sell flavored tobacco products or tobacco product flavor enhancers, such as what would be used in electronic smoking devices. The city adopted a fairly standard definition for flavored tobacco products, calling them those products “that imparts a taste or smell other than the taste or smell of tobacco, that is distinguishable by an ordinary consumer either prior to, or during the consumption of.” One of the main identifiers will be if a retailer, manufacturer, or a manufacturer’s agent or employee makes a statement or claim to consumers or the public about such a flavor, as well as if the packaging offers such suggestions.
The new law also prohibits any self-service tobacco displays, unless the business limits access to customers who are at least 21-years-old, and posts prominent signage indicating that the minimum age to purchase tobacco products is 21-years-old. Self-service vending machines will still be permitted in bars, as long as the machine is within direct view of employees.
The law goes into effect on Jan. 25, 2021.
Missoula is the second-largest city in Montana with a population of approximately 75,500 residents.