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House Republicans counting votes to override DeWine's veto of ban on local bans of flavored tobacco

Cartons of cigarettes, including menthol cigarettes
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Cartons of cigarettes, including menthol cigarettes

There’s an effort underway to override Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a ban on local bans of flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes. This comes as Columbus has a ban on flavored tobacco taking effect in January, and Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton considering bans.

The ban was among 44 vetoes DeWine issued on the state budget. It was DeWine’s second veto of that idea. He’slong wanted a state ban on flavored tobacco along with flavored vaping products, saying they're marketed to kids. DeWine vetoed a bill passed last year that also banned local bans of flavored tobacco.

Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton) is the assistant majority floor leader and was the sponsor of that bill, House Bill 513. Cross confirmed he's working on gathering the 66 votes to override DeWine's veto of the ban on bans in the budget, but said he doesn't have the votes yet.

House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) also said he's interested in overriding the veto.

"It's a balance in Ohio that is unique," Stephens said. "We have the home rule provisions, but also having something from a commercial side to have consistency so that you have, in this particular case, a convenience store that is on one side of a road versus one that's on the other as two totally different rules in that proximity, especially in the retail space, is a little bit confusing for consumers and retailers."

In 2021, Republicans passed a law stopping communities from banning plastic grocery bags.

The budget passed with veto proof majorities in the legislature. But last year’s HB 513 that DeWine vetoed did not. Not all the lawmakers who were in the General Assembly when that bill passed are still members.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.