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Smoking-ban proposals butt heads

Publication Date: 2006-05-04
  • Author:James Nash
  • Publication:Columbus (OH) Dispatch

One bans lighting up in nearly all public places; other limits it to mostly bars

Ohio voters could be forgiven if they’re confused about two smoking-related ballot initiatives for which supporters began gathering signatures this week.

Supporters pitch both as moderate efforts to curb smoking in restaurants, workplaces and other public places. Backers of each measure say it would help businesses, and both sides point to polls that show they’re headed to victory in November.

In reality, however, the measures have little in common.

The one backed by the American Cancer Society would virtually banish smoking from public places in Ohio with few exceptions. The one sponsored by the Ohio Licensed Beverage Association would allow smoking in bars and in parts of restaurants while repealing tougher anti-smoking measures in Columbus and other cities.

Supporters of both measures began circulating petition forms this week after the General Assembly declined to take action on a measure to broaden or limit smoking indoors.