Apr 12, 2024 - News

Ohio cities file lawsuit challenging ban on tobacco regulations

Illustration of smoke coming out of a cigarette making the "no" symbol.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Fourteen Ohio cities, including Columbus, have banded together to challenge a state law that preempts municipalities' ability to regulate tobacco sales.

State of play: Columbus city attorney Zach Klein filed the lawsuit in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Tuesday.

  • It seeks to block the state law, which is scheduled to take effect April 23.
  • Cleveland and Cincinnati joined the lawsuit, alongside Oxford and 10 Columbus suburbs, including Bexley, where Gov. Mike DeWine resides.

Catch up quick: The city of Columbus banned flavored tobacco products in late 2022, but the Ohio legislature shortly thereafter passed legislation prohibiting cities from enforcing stricter tobacco laws than the state's.

What they're saying: "Preventing cities like Columbus from banning flavored tobacco is as egregious as it is irresponsible," Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement.

  • "We all want a safe and healthy future for our families, and we need access to the tools granted to us by the Ohio Constitution to protect the most vulnerable among us."
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