Poll: Ohioans support indoor smoking ban

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COLUMBUS – One year after the SmokeFreeOhio campaign kicked off, a poll shows 60 percent of Ohio registered voters support a statewide clean indoor air law.
“Ohio voters have spoken. These poll results demonstrate that Ohioans believe they have a right to breathe smoke-free air in public places and workplaces,” said Tracy Sabetta, co-chair of SmokeFreeOhio.
“They support a common-sense approach: equal protection for all Ohio workers and one level playing field for all businesses.”
Decide for themselves. In addition, 85 percent of those polled would prefer to decide this issue for themselves at the ballot in November rather than have the issue decided by elected officials.
This poll clearly mirrors the support voters in the Ohio cities of Gahanna and Grandview Heights and the voters of Washington state demonstrated at the polls last November.
All three places passed strong smoke-free laws with more than 60 percent of voters’ support. Columbus voters also overwhelmingly passed a strong smoke-free law in November 2004.
When given to chance to weaken that law in May 2005, voters again overwhelmingly supported giving all workers equal protection from secondhand smoke.
The question. When asked, “The measure would prohibit smoking in public places and workplaces in Ohio, including offices, restaurants, bars, bingo halls, and bowling alleys. If the election were held today, would you vote yes or no on this initiative, or are you undecided?”
Of 800 registered Ohio voters, 60 percent would vote yes; 36 percent would vote no; and 4 percent did not know.
Support was strong regardless of sex, age, party, or religion, or region of the state. Republican women had the highest support.
Strong support. More than 225 organizations have endorsed SmokeFreeOhio. Nearly 1,300 volunteers circulated a petition last year. More than 160,000 Ohioans signed a petition in support of the strong smoke-free law.
The SmokeFree Workplace Act is currently before the Ohio General Assembly. SmokeFreeOhio is asking lawmakers to take no action and allow SmokeFreeOhio to collect a second round of signatures to put the issue on the ballot this November.
Learn more. For more information, go to www.smokefreeohio.org.

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