"Smokeout" Offers Opportunity To Reflect On State Policies Against Tobacco Use

Nov 19, 2015

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It’s the Great American Smokeout Day, when the American Cancer Society urges smokers to quit cold turkey.  Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles says anti-smoking advocates are considering how the indoor smoking ban has impacted the state.

It’s been more than eight years since Ohioans voted to ban smoking in public places. The American Cancer Society Ohio’s Jeff Stephens says the state has made great strides toward curbing tobacco use during the past decade.

“We still lag behind many states but think about this. 50 years ago, the Surgeon General released their report about the dangers of tobacco use. The greatest strides we have made have come through public policy efforts.”

Stephens says he’s grateful lawmakers passed a 35 cents a pack increase for cigarettes this year. But he says Ohio only reaps a billion dollars a year from tobacco taxes yet spends a billion and a half in tobacco costs for Medicaid patients.