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Smoking Rules

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Thousands answer Ohio's call to comment on smoking ban

Thousands of Ohioans have responded to the state's invitation to submit comments that health officials will use to develop rules for enforcing the new statewide smoking ban.

The Ohio Department of Health says more than 60 percent of the more than 3,500 letters and email messages received by Thursday's deadline supported the ban.

Fewer than one in ten condemned the ban that voters approved in November.

Violators won't face penalties until the state finalizes dozens of rules to enforce the ban.

The state has until early June to put the rules in place.

Some respondents said stiff penalties, including higher fines and jail time, were needed to deter violators.

Others said they were troubled that businesses could be fined based on anonymous complaints.

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