Downtown Cleveland - Cleveland Sunrise by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This week, the Ohio House of Representatives achieved a huge win, overriding Gov. Mike DeWine’s misguided veto of a budget provision that would bar local governments from imposing bans on life-saving alternative tobacco products – like flavored vapes.  

With 60-31vote Republicans achieved the threshold needed to override Veto Item Number 24. The Senate must approve the veto override as well, and will return next year to continue session.

Governor DeWine’s veto was issued to halt protections against local government bans on flavored tobacco products. If the governor’s veto stands, Ohioans will be prohibited from purchasing flavored tobacco products in certain localities such as Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

The House override shows its commitment to protecting citizens from meddling, left-wing local governments that try to unreasonably regulate and tax all sorts of products and services. As an example, recently some local Ohio governments had banned natural gas hookups, pressing the legislature to act to protect consumers.

Vaping and the use of reduced risk tobacco alternatives are significantly less harmful to consumers’ health than regular cigarettes. Research has proven that the flavors provided by these alternative products are crucial in the ability for adults to quit smoking. By regulating which tobacco products can and cannot be sold would only increase smoking rates, which directly harms overall public health.

The overriding of the veto would also ensure that Ohio will maintain and expand its competitive landscape for small businesses and consumers. Had the initial veto successfully ban flavored tobacco products, jobs would have been vacated and consumers would have been subject to burdensome expenses and possible black market activity. Furthermore, the restrictions on flavored tobacco products would have also decreased tax revenues.

All House Republicans deserve credit and thanks for coming together to get this done – as competing factions in the chamber put aside differences to stand up for conservative principles and protect Ohio consumers and businesses.

This override is cheerful news for Ohioans prior to the holiday season.