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Some pols want to revise smoking ban

Publication Date: 2007-11-25
  • Author:Josh Sweigart
  • Publication:Middletown (OH) Journal

State lawmakers say Ohio's smoking law must be modified to make it reasonable. Others say the state should follow voters' wishes.

The Ohio Department of Health says the law is working perfectly.

"I think it's been very effective," said Kristopher Weiss, ODOH spokesman.

"There are 280,000 businesses ... in the state of Ohio that are covered by the new indoor smoking ban. When you look at (17,338) smoking complaints, I think it says the vast majority are complying voluntarily."

But the law demands a high price for compliance, according to state Sen. Gary Cates, R-West Chester Twp. He points to Anthony's Cigar Bar in his hometown, where managers said business is down 70 percent since the law passed.

Cates is sponsoring legislation that would allow smoking in cigar bars, requiring them to have a humidor of more than 300-square-feet and an air filtration system..

Patrick Carroll, president of the 400-plus member Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Association, is trying both tactics -- pressuring state lawmakers and pushing for a voter referendum.