Ohio Legislature Sides with Big… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Ohio Legislature Sides with Big Tobacco Over Kids by Overriding Gov. DeWine’s Veto of Bill that Blocks Local Efforts to Reduce Youth Tobacco Use

Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President and CEO, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
January 24, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ohio Senate today sided with the tobacco industry over Ohio’s kids by voting to override Gov. DeWine’s veto of a bill that strips Ohio communities of their ability to protect kids from tobacco addiction. The Legislature’s action will have a devastating impact on the health of Ohio’s kids and communities. Ohio has high rates of tobacco use compared to other states, with 20% of high school students currently using e-cigarettes and 17.1% of adults (1.57 million adults) currently smoking cigarettes. Ohio will pay a high price for this veto override, with more kids becoming addicted to tobacco, more lives lost to tobacco-related diseases and higher tobacco-related healthcare costs, which total over $6.5 billion a year in the state.

The House previously voted to override the governor’s veto as well. These votes overturn local laws, like the strong public health law that just went into effect in Columbus prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, as well as numerous smoke-free school campus laws around the state. Laws prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products are critical to stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to hook young people. Unfortunately, this veto override will allow the industry to continue its predatory targeting of kids, Black communities and other minority communities with flavored tobacco, including flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes.

We thank Gov. DeWine for his steadfast leadership in working to protect the health of Ohio’s kids and the legislators who voted against the veto override. We will continue to fight for the health of Ohio’s children and to help pass proven policies that protect kids, advance health equity and save lives.