COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus City Council held a public hearing on Wednesday for Columbus Public Health’s proposed flavored tobacco legislation.
The proposed legislation has been a hot topic with strong feedback from both sides. Ray Miller is the founder and publisher of the Columbus & Dayton African American News Journal. He has a personal reason for being in favor of the ban.
“My mother started smoking when she was 13,” saud Miller. “My mom passed from cancer, and my oldest sister and the second older sister. So that’s three with cancer. Mesothelioma. My younger brother Jefffrey with leukemia. It takes a toll.”
The flavored tobacco ordinance proposed would impose fines on people who sell flavored tobacco in the city. However, it would not make it illegal to possess or consume the products. It would also authorize CPH to promulgate rules and enforce all flavored tobacco and licensing-related regulations.
Local businesses fear the ordinance would cut sales by up to 80% forcing them out of business. Miller, on the other hand, sees it as an opportunity to save lives.
“I think we have a responsibility to transfer the knowledge that we do have so that we can bring about real change,” said Miller.
City council says there will be further opportunities for the public to voice their opinion on the proposal through future events. The meetings are scheduled for small businesses on Nov. 16 and Nov. 30.
Learn more about the proposal here.