Ohio Judge Upholds Cities’ Authority… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Ohio Judge Upholds Cities’ Authority to Protect Kids and Public Health from Tobacco

Statement of John Bowman, Executive Vice President for U.S. Programs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
May 17, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a big win for the health of Ohio’s kids and communities, a Franklin County, Ohio, judge today sided with Columbus and other cities and declared unconstitutional a state law that would have stripped Ohio communities of their authority to enact measures aimed at reducing tobacco use. Judge Mark Serrott ruled that the state law violates the home rule provisions of the Ohio Constitution.


This ruling is a victory for kids and public health and affirms the authority of Ohio cities to address the devastating toll of tobacco use, which is the number one cause of preventable death. This decision allows Columbus and other communities that were parties to the lawsuit to continue enforcing their tobacco control laws, including laws prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products. Such laws are critical to stop the tobacco industry from continuing to addict kids with products like flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. Tobacco companies also target Black, LGBTQ+ and other communities with flavored products like menthol cigarettes, contributing significantly to health disparities.


We applaud the leaders of Columbus and other Ohio municipalities that filed a lawsuit against the state law and fought for their right to protect public health. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids filed an amicus brief, joined by 11 other leading public health, medical and community groups, supporting this lawsuit.