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News Summary

Some pushing for changes to Ohio's public smoking ban

Publication Date: 12/7/2008
  • Author:Jim DeBrosse
  • Publication:Dayton (OH) Daily News

Lawmakers propose exemptions in response to complaints from small business owners, private clubs.

Sen. Tom Roberts, D-Dayton, wants to reopen the smoking ban issue because of complaints from small bar owners who say they are losing business and private club members who say they thought the law had allowed them an exemption. Roberts is one of 13 state legislators co-sponsoring Senate Bill 346, legislation that would carve out new exemptions in the state's smoke-free workplace law for private clubs and family-owned businesses that don't allow minors.

"Small business is the backbone of our economy," Roberts said. "A lot of these mom-and-pop places are important to their neighborhoods."

But allowing some establishments to decide on a ban for themselves would create confusion among customers and "an enforcement nightmare" for health officials, said Ana Titus, a spokeswoman for the Ohio division of the American Cancer Society.