Coming on the heels of the recent state budget process that labeled lawyers and lobbyists as bad actors and last year’s effort to upend the short-term lending industry, now, the legislature has set their sights on the sun lamp tanning industry as well as the vaping industry.
House Bill 329 is the most recent attempt by the legislature to put restrictions on who can use sun lamp tanning. In years past, there have been many efforts to restrict access to sun lamp tanning for anyone under the age of 18. In each of these situations, the Ohio Chamber has opposed these measures for a complete ban. Under current law, no one under the age of 16 can use sun lamp tanning, while individuals who are 16 and 17 must have parental consent. We believe that strikes the correct balance between public health and safety and the free market. Just this week HB 329 had its first hearing.
On the issue of vaping, the legislature in the state budget increased the age from 18 to 21 for anyone who purchases a vapor product and imposed a new tax on vapor products. On the heels of this, now enter House Bill 346 and House Bill 347. These bills were introduced at the end of September and were then followed by Governor DeWine calling for a complete ban on flavors in a press conference on Oct 1. HB 346 would ban flavored vapor products from being sold in Ohio, thus having the potential to force stores that primarily sell vapor products out of business in our state. HB 347 proposes even more onerous regulatory burdens on vape shops.
The Ohio Chamber exists to protect Ohio businesses from government overreach that seeks to disrupt free markets and economic competitiveness. That is why we will oppose these measures and any others that may threaten businesses’ ability to operate in Ohio.