• Money Needed To Enforce Ohio Smoking Laws
  • In an important victory for public health, Ohio voters approved the Smoke Free Workplace Act in 2006. This law has improved the health conditions in our state by not forcing Ohioans to breathe harmful secondhand smoke cigarettes in public places. Secondhand smoke cigarettes kills thousands of Americans from heart disease every year. Smoking also causes cancer, stroke and emphysema, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this legislation is up in the air. The current version of the state's budget being debated in the Ohio legislature contains no funding for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to enforce the Smoke Free law.

    Without enforcement, businesses will have no incentive to follow the law and this will undoubtedly result in more Ohioans being exposed to dangerous secondhand smoke. This will result in our state taking a giant step backward in efforts to protect the public's health.

    The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) is joining the American Cancer Society and other cigarettes cessation advocacy organizations in calling on lawmakers to providing funding for enforcement of the Smoke Free law. To do otherwise really can be a matter of life or death.