COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine Tuesday called for lawmakers to ban flavored vaping products in Ohio.
The governor stopped short of issuing an immediate ban and is instead asking the General Assembly to take action.
The announcement came as a rally of 400 people took to the statehouse steps in support of vaping. The rally was made up of people who vape, work at a vapor store or own one.
“If he takes a flavor ban like the other states have, it’s going to rapidly shut down the 650 businesses in the state of Ohio, and it’s gonna leave our adult consumers without an option,” said James Jarvis with the Ohio Vapor Trade Association, before the announcement.
Just hours later, DeWine made his announcement.
“We have determined, that the best course of action is to partner with the general assembly to protect kids from the dangers of vaping including banning flavored products,” said DeWine.
DeWine blames the products for enticing children to start vaping and wants to get rid of them.
“They lure kids with sweet flavors such as fruit, candy, chocolate, menthol, mint. They get them hooked on massive quantities of nicotine and then make it all seem cool on social media,” said DeWine.
Those outside the statehouse said banning flavors affects the adults, not the children. Children will find another alternative.
“Making bootleg stuff, and that’s not safe or healthy for anybody involved,” said Dylan Hobbs, a vapor user and store employee.
Vapor supporters say they have committed to reaching out to lawmakers to educate them on what responsible businesses in the industry are already doing to keep the products out of the hands of kids.