Exhale. Ohio's new smoking ban may exclude most truckers

| 12/22/2006

The Columbus Dispatch reported this week that most truckers in Ohio will be able to smoke in their cabs, despite a strict new indoor smoking ban being developed in the state. Kristopher Weiss, spokesman for the state health department, says this is true.

The only truckers who can’t smoke in the cab are those who have another company employee in the cab with them.

“In the rules, we defined ‘vehicle’ as Ohio-registered vehicle occupied by more than one person at the same time,” said Weiss.

He explained that this language is in the draft set of rules but points out that implementing the new smoke-free rule is in progress. That language could change.

Weiss said the state has posted the draft enforcement rules for the ban for public comment. The rules incorporate comments received at the Dec. 19 advisory committee meeting. They will remain posted for 21 days or until Jan. 11, 2007.

The process for putting the rules in place will include comments, committee meetings, a public hearing, and then it’s on to a legislative committee, he told Land Line.

“We really want public input,” Weiss said. “We have members of the state trucking association involved and I know truckers are very interested.”

Comments should be sent: by e-mail: beh@odh.ohio.gov, or by mail: Chief, Bureau of Environmental Health, Ohio Department of Health, 246 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215.

The state has until June 6 to get rules in place, said Weiss.


– By Sandi Soendker, managing editor