Youth smoking rates have decreased dramatically, and are now in the single digits, but health officials fear the rise in vaping is reversing that trend.
“The reality is that, sadly, about a third of our high school students report either using e-cigarettes or vaping, just in the course of the last 30 days,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health director.
DeWine said he understands that merchants want to have uniform laws across the state, but said that the fruit and candy flavors are designed to make the tobacco products more enticing to young people.
He said an outright ban on flavored tobacco products would create that uniformity.
“If we had that statewide ban, Ohio would be moving forward, we will save a lot of lives, we will save a lot of children from starting down a pathway that in 20 years, 25 years, 30 years may end up costing them their lives,” DeWine said.
Local co-sponsors of the bill included Republican Reps. Sara Carruthers of Hamilton and Scott Lipps of Franklin, plus Republican Sen. George Lang of West Chester Twp.
Read DeWine’s veto message below: