Vice Squad
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Smoking Ban Referenda

An e-mail from Scott at Grits for Breakfast inadvertently (at least I think it was inadvertent) reminded me that I hadn't recorded the outcome of the referenda on two existing Ohio public smoking bans, one in Columbus and one in Toledo. (This failure, despite the big Vice Squad build-up to these votes, in August and October!) What happened was this: voters in Toledo opted to repeal their ban and replace it with a weaker one, while voters in Columbus upheld their ban. Other communities are looking to the results of six such November referenda, which seem to indicate interest in curbing public smoking but less interest in complete, New York City-style bans:
Lincoln and Columbus voters both approved by wide margins outright bans on smoking in all indoor public places. But voters in Fargo and West Fargo, N.D., approved compromise bans that allow smoking in bars that serve only people 21 years or older. And voters in Toledo, Ohio, repealed an existing smoking ban, while voters in Duluth, Minn., rejected a proposed ban similar to the one in place in Lawrence.


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