Ohio Measure 4, Partial Smoking Ban (2006)

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The Ohio Partial Smoking Ban Amendment, also known as Issue 4, was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Ohio as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.[1] This amendment would have repealed all municipal and state smoking bans and replaced them with a single uniform ban, and would have also made it unconstitutional to attempt to legislatively alter or add to this ban. Due to its financial backing by the tobacco industry, the measure was decried as a Trojan horse initiative, meaning that its legal wording would have had the opposite effect of its intended purpose. Furthermore, Issue 5 was a contesting measure to Issue 4.

Election results

Ohio Issue 4 (2006)
Defeatedd No2,590,44864.11%
Yes 1,450,164 35.89%

Election results via the Ohio Secretary of State.[2]

Text of measure

See also: Ohio Constitution, Article XV

The language that appeared on the ballot:[3]

(Proposed by Initiative Petition)

To adopt Section 12 of Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

This proposed amendment would prohibit smoking in enclosed areas except tobacco stores, private residences or nonpublic facilities, separate smoking areas in restaurants, most bars, bingo and bowling facilities, separated areas of hotels and nursing homes, and race tracks. The amendment would invalidate retroactively any ordinance or local law in effect, and would prohibit the future adoption of any ordinance or local law to the extent such ordinance or law prohibited smoking or tobacco products in anyplace exempted by the amendment.

A majority yes vote is necessary for passage.

Shall the proposed amendment be adopted?



Arguments in favor

The following reasons were given in support of Issue 4 by Smoke Less Ohio:[3]

The Smoke Less Ohio proposal on the November ballot is a constitutional amendment to ban smoking in 90% of Ohio businesses.

This is a reasonable approach to meeting the needs of Ohioans to protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke. We are proposing an effective smoking ban to keep smoke out of 90% of all the businesses in Ohio.

Smoke Less is a common sense approach that protects both non-smokers and individual rights. Smoke Less protects the rights of individuals and businesses to make their own personal choices about smoking in very limited locations. Smoke Less provides exceptions for places where there are no minor children or where a total ban would threaten the health of the business. Bars are the main exception. Bowling alleys, bingo locations, and completely separate, enclosed areas in restaurants are the others.

Smoke Less has proposed that the Ohio smoking ban be a constitutional amendment. That will be a dependable, permanent solution, so Ohioans know clearly where smoking is or is not allowed. Business owners can make a decision about whether to become entirely smoke-free or to participate in the allowed exceptions. If decided by statute, our smoking laws will be subject to constant change, and voters could be asked to decide the same question over and over again.

Smoke Less is a common sense smoking ban for Ohio.[4]

The official ballot argument in support of Issue 4 was signed by Jacob Evans.

Campaign contributions

The campaign to pass Measure 4 was led by two different committees, the Smoke Less Ohio Voter Education Fund and the Smoking Ban Ballot Petition Committee. Primary donors to these organizations, which spent a cumulative total of $6.4 million, were:[5]

  • Smoke Less Ohio, $6.4 million (total to both committees)
  • R.J. Reynolds, $264,000.


Arguments against

The following reasons were given in opposition of Issue 4 by the Committee to Prepare Argument Against Issue 4:[3]

Don’t Be Fooled by Tobacco Companies

Vote NO on the Pro-Smoking Constitutional Amendment

Vote No on Issue 4 to keep secondhand smoke out of restaurants and other public places.

RJ Reynolds and other tobacco companies are proposing and funding a pro-smoking constitutional amendment. Smoke Less Ohio would keep smoke in restaurants and other public places and put customers and workers at risk from secondhand smoke, a proven health hazard.

The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, doctors, hospitals, and every Ohio public health organization oppose Smoke Less Ohio because it would:

  • DENY YOUR RIGHT to breathe smoke-free air in public places.
  • KEEP smoke in restaurants and bowling alleys, exposing children, the elderly and those with health problems to secondhand smoke.
  • OVERTURN smoke-free laws in 21 cities across Ohio including Columbus and make it unconstitutional for lawmakers to enact future clean indoor air ordinances.

The U.S. Surgeon General confirmed that secondhand smoke causes cancer, heart disease and lung disease. He also confirmed that separate smoking sections like those proposed by Smoke Less Ohio do not protect health.

Smoke Less Ohio would make it unconstitutional to protect more than half a million hospitality workers and their customers from exposure to secondhand smoke. No worker should have to choose between earning a living and protecting his or her health.

Smoke Less Ohio alters the Constitution to protect the tobacco industry’s bottom line. Lawmakers and voters could only change the Smoke Less Ohio proposal through another constitutional amendment — a costly and lengthy process.

Smoke Less Ohio would create different rules for similar businesses and make a level playing field for all Ohio businesses impossible.

Smoke Less Ohio FAILS to protect the workers and citizens of Ohio from secondhand smoke. Vote NO on Issue 4[4]

The official ballot argument in opposition of Issue 3 was signed by James M. Sudimack, the president of the Ohio State Medical Association.

See also

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