Battling Tobacco In Ohio | News, Sports, Jobs
State lawmakers say the health of Buckeye State residents is important to them, and in many instances the state is making progress when it comes to fighting poisons such as those found in tobacco products. But on three fronts the American Lung Association says Ohio is failing. The state received F grades on the ALA’s annual assessment in the categories of tobacco prevention and cessation funding, tobacco taxes, and flavored tobacco products.
Ohio did receive an A for smoke-free air and a B for access to smoking cessation services.
But Ohio, like other states, is beholden to the taxes from tobacco.
According to Truth Initiative, Ohio received an estimated $1.3 billion in revenue from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2020.
The ALA would like lawmakers to ban flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes, increase investment in tobacco cessation programs, and implement a cigarette tax equal to the tax on non-cigarette tobacco products.
While many lawmakers may have mixed feelings about taxing tobacco to the point of making it unaffordable, it is likely their hesitation comes as much from the thought of lost revenue as it does from concerns about personal freedoms. Ohio has made strides to reduce the use of tobacco in the state. But the ALA’s report shows there is still work to do.