Today, the Ohio State Legislature passed House Bill 513 (HB 513), legislation that prevents communities from passing local ordinances to protect kids from tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
The American Lung Association in Ohio issued the following statement urging Governor Mike DeWine to veto HB 513.
“The American Lung Association staunchly condemns the Ohio State Legislature for passing HB 513. The bill is a scheme of Big Tobacco to stop communities from passing laws that can help prevent and reduce youth tobacco use. If this bill becomes law, it will take away the rights of cities and counties to pass laws to regulate tobacco and e-cigarette flavors, their ingredients, or enact tobacco retail licensing to hold bad actors that sell illegally to kids accountable.
"Tobacco use in Ohio is above the national average and youth tobacco use in Ohio is at 36.7%. This is fueled by the tobacco industry’s overt targeting of young people and the popularity of e-cigarettes, which continues to be alarmingly high and has created a new generation addicted to deadly tobacco products. Flavors like menthol, candy and fruit are marketed to lure kids to try these products, especially e-cigarettes. In addition, the annual healthcare costs in Ohio directly caused by smoking are $6.5 billion, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“We can’t lose another generation to the death and disease of tobacco use. The Lung Association appreciates Governor Dewine’s past leadership on tobacco prevention efforts and call on him to, once again, put Ohio’s children before tobacco industry profits, and veto House Bill 315.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.