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Two-thirds of Ohio smoking-ban fines unpaid



Published: Sun, May 8, 2011 @ 9:42 p.m.

Associated Press

DAYTON

The Ohio Department of Health and the attorney general’s office have collected only one-third of the $2.2 million in fines levied for facilities that have violated the state’s smoking ban since enforcement began four years ago, according to state data.

Smoking is prohibited in most indoor, public places under the ban, which went into effect in 2007. State and local health officials have issued more than 2,300 fines totaling more than $2.2 million since May 2007, but about $1.5 million had not been paid as of April 30, according to a report by the Dayton Daily News, which analyzed the data.

The newspaper found the percentage of fines collected drops each year. It was 81 percent in 2007 but just 26 percent last year.

The agencies involved in collecting the fines say they do what they can to get the money.

Most places comply with the ban, but some officials argue the holdouts would change their ways if the state collected the fines more aggressively. The concerns come as Gov. John Kasich was calling for significant cuts in anti-tobacco money in his two-year budget proposal, the newspaper said.

“I think for an enforcement program to be effective, there has to be a hammer,” Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jim Gross said. “And it’s pretty clear right now this program does not have an effective penalty system to change that behavior.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com


Comments

1yeasure(6 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Lottery in Deficit, Ohio Tax Payers paying 500 million to keep the Lottery out of Bankruptcy?

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2cheybaby2(102 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes Its Pretty Bad Tax Payers Pay For All There B.S.. We Have a Right To Choose If We Smoke Or Not. Not The Governments Chose.. I believe Bars , Taverns & Clubs Should Decide If They Allow Smoking In there Facility. Most Drinkers Smoke, When & If I chose To Go Listen To a Band. I Should be able To Smoke Since my Chose Of Drink is Straight Pepsi . I quit drinking 31 yrs ago by my chose. And If I stop Smoking That Is my Chose Not the Government . AMERICA FREEDOM OF CHOSE , NOT DICTATED LIKE A COMMONEST COUNTRY .

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3UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Enforce the law and put the non-payers in jail. Double unpaid fines to get out of jail. That will teach them.

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4Freeatlast(1989 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Amen Union

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5howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

If they don't pay their fines pull their alcohol licenses from them.

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6LtMacGowan(622 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

This law is a JOKE. No one enforces it.

Just the other day I was in a bar smoking next to 2 youngstown cops who were also smoking. We need to get rid of this stupid law.

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