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News Summary

Smoking ban starts May 1

Publication Date: 2007-04-17
  • Author:LIZ LONG AND JON CRAIG
  • Publication:The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ohio's indoor smoking ban can be enforced as early as May 1 after a state legislative panel heard final public testimony Monday.

By not taking any action, the 10-member Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) gave its blessing to the ban, which prohibits smoking in any public place or place of employment, as passed by Ohio voters Nov. 7.

JCARR could have asked the state Department of Health to further revise its rules for enforcement - or with six votes could have invalidated all or part of the rules - sending the matter to the Ohio General Assembly. Instead, after a three-hour meeting, the rules cleared the legislative panel without objection. Legislators adjourned without debate.

The law, approved by 58 percent of voters, aims to protect non-smokers and employees from secondhand smoke. It prohibits smoking in most public places. Exceptions include tobacco shops, certain private clubs, designated hotel rooms and enclosed areas of nursing homes.