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Ohio says `Snuff it out'

Publication Date: 2006-11-08
  • Author:Rick Armon
  • Publication:Akron (OH) Beacon Journal

Voters select smoking ban with stiffer restrictions

In a battle of dueling ballot issues, the tougher statewide smoking ban won out Tuesday. Ohio voters opted to prohibit smoking in all restaurants, public places and workplaces, rejecting a less restrictive issue that would have protected smokers' rights and overturned existing smoking bans around the state.

In the two other statewide issues, voters approved a raise in the minimum wage by $1.70 and were rejecting a proposal to allow slot-machine parlors in the state.

The smoking fight featured Issue 4 vs. Issue 5; Smoke Less Ohio vs. SmokeFreeOhio; the ``common sense smoking ban'' vs. ``Let's clear the air;'' the constitutional amendment vs. the regular law. The real grudge match was between tobacco companies and public health groups including the American Cancer Society. . . .

The law goes into effect 30 days from Election Day.

Ohio joins at least 18 other states with existing statewide smoking bans. Voters in Arizona and Nevada also were deciding the fate of proposed smoking bans Tuesday.