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Ohio Quits Blowing Smoke Today

December 7, 2006

Columbus, OH - Ohio's workplace smoking ban kicks in today, despite a last-minute lawsuit filed yesterday in a Hamilton County court. Tracy Sabetta with the group Smoke Free Ohio says Ohioans can celebrate by enjoying the atmosphere at their favorite, "formerly smoky" restaurant or bar.

"There will be elimination of secondhand smoke in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, places that we go with our friends, with our families, places that we go out and enjoy."

According to Sabetta, the new law will be a big boost for health in Ohio, especially for people who work in bars and restaurants.

"We look at other states that have been smoke-free for years and see a significant decrease in the incidence of heart disease and lung cancer in those workers."

The ban was approved by Ohio voters earlier this month. Critics of the ban insist it will hurt business, but Sabetta believes it protects workers and customers from a proven health hazard, as well as creating a level playing field for all Ohio businesses.

Rob Ferrett/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OH