State And Regional

DeWine vetoes legislation banning municipalities from stopping sales of flavored tobacco products

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine has vetoed legislation that would have banned municipalities from prohibiting the sales of flavored tobacco products.

The Ohio House and Senate passed the bill last month. Lawmakers argued the regulation of tobacco products and alternative nicotine products is a statewide concern that should require statewide regulation.

>> 118th Congress opens; Vote for House speaker enters 3rd day

DeWine and Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director, Ohio Department of Health, held a news conference Thursday morning to discuss the dangers of smoking among young people and the impact of flavored tobacco products.

Ohio is seeing an epidemic as more younger people are taking up vaping, the governor said.

“This has been going on long enough now that we know that many of them transition into tobacco and we know the long-term consequences,” he said.

DeWine said the bill passed by the state legislature was not in the public’s interest. He said medical experts have for a long time warned about the dangers of tobacco products on younger people.

Vanderhoff said, “The very best steps we can take to ensure our young people have long, healthy, productive lives is to protect them and prevent them from suffering the ravage of tobacco and nicotine addiction.”

A spokesperson from DeWine’s office told our news partner, WBNS 10tv.com, the new General Assembly “cannot initiate a veto override of a bill passed by a prior General Assembly.”