Statement of Yolonda C. Richardson, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
WASHINGTON, July 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Gov. Mike DeWine has once again vetoed legislation that would block (preempt) local governments in Ohio from passing critical, lifesaving measures to reduce tobacco use, including laws ending the sale of flavored tobacco products. The tobacco industry uses flavors to hook young people into a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Governor DeWine deserves enormous credit for standing up to the tobacco industry and supporting local efforts to end the industry’s predatory targeting of kids, Black Americans and other communities with flavored tobacco products.
Governor DeWine is absolutely right in stating, “The removal of local regulation would encourage youth nicotine addiction and immediately undo years of progress to improve public health.” Governor DeWine vetoed a similar preemption provision in January.
This veto allows Columbus to move forward with implementing its new law ending the sale of flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. It also allows other communities across Ohio to take similar action.
Such action is urgently needed. The evidence shows that 81% of kids who use tobacco products started with flavored products. Flavored products have fueled high rates of youth e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction. Nationwide, more than 2.5 million kids use e-cigarettes, and 85% of them use flavored products. In Ohio, 20% of high school students use e-cigarettes. Tobacco companies also continue to target Black Americans, kids, the LGBTQ+ community and other communities with menthol cigarettes, which are more addictive, easier for kids to start smoking and harder to quit.
We thank Gov. DeWine for his continued strong leadership in upholding the authority of Ohio communities to pass laws that protects kids, advances health equity and saves lives.
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids