Do you think e-cigarettes aren’t dangerous? Think again. The Surgeon General has found that the aerosol released by e-cigarettes contains nicotine and ultra fine particles that can be toxic, cause cancer, and lead to heart disease. In other words, e-cigarettes can be damaging not just to yourself, but to others as well.

This is a big threat to Gallatin County’s children. Montana is seeing record low rates of teen smoking, but a skyrocketing use of e-cigarettes. In Montana, 30% of youth are using e-cigarettes, which is over seven times the rate of adults and almost double the national rate.

Research published in the Journal of Adolescent Health has shown that youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to become cigarette smokers in the future. Even just observing e-cigarette use evokes a smoking urge and desire among young adult smokers.

Currently, e-cigarettes are not part of the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) and are allowed in most places where cigarette smoking is banned. The CIAA protects residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke by banning the use of cigarettes and combustible tobacco in public indoor spaces. Including e-cigarettes in clean indoor air laws helps safeguard the community, particularly our youth.