Ohio Smoking Ban to Start May 3
COLUMBUS, OHIO - Ohio’s no-smoking ban will be enforced starting May 3, six months after voters approved the measure, according to Dick Lightner, executive vice president, the Ohio Vehicle Leasing Association (OVLA).“We intend to start enforcing this law on May 3,” said Jay Carey, director of public affairs for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). “Because of some procedures, that day is the earliest enforcement can begin.” The ban took effect Dec. 7, but without the rules spelling out the details, the Ohio Health Department had no power to enforce the measure, according to Lightner. More than 17,000 complaints were filed with OHD since the effective date.The rules include requiring businesses to prohibit smoking, post signs stating that smoking is not allowed, and to remove all ashtrays. The rules force county health departments to police businesses. According to the OVLA, penalties for breaking the law will range from warning letters for a first offense up to $2,500 fines. Each day of a violation constitutes a separate violation and fines.