Ohio Supreme Court Hears Smoking Ban Arguments

The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments, Oct. 19, in a case involving a Columbus bar owner who is challenging Ohio’s indoor smoking ban. The case was initiated by Zeno’s, which received 10 citations from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) totaling $33,000 for allowing patrons to smoke in their facility. 

The Ohio Osteopathic Association joined the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Ohio Health Commissioners and others in supporting the Ohio Department of Health's right to enforce the law, in an amicus brief filed earlier this year. 

The ban, approved by referendum in 2006, received a setback earlier this year when the state budget bill passed without funding to maintain the complaint line and for local boards of health to enforce the law. Without funding for enforcement and the threat of fines or penalties, businesses may have little incentive to follow the law.

Polling shows 69% of Ohioans support the law and a recent analysis of taxable sales from bars and restaurants released by ODH found the ban did not have a significant economic impact on those establishments as a whole.

 

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