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Cincinnati could consider banning the sale of flavored tobacco products

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Cincinnati officials may soon consider banning the sale of flavored tobacco. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill last week that would have prevented communities from regulating tobacco in any way.

A few communities, including Columbus, have already banned flavored tobacco. Cincinnati Council Member Victoria Parks says she's interested in doing the same.

"I will propose a motion," Parks told WVXU. "And because of the blowback for this HB 513, I think that people are interested in it."

Parks says she's concerned about flavored tobacco products marketed to kids and teens.

"I think that that's just wrong," she said. "You know, causing addiction and death."

According to a recent report from the FDA, one in four middle and high school students use e-cigarettes daily — and almost 85% use flavored products.

Parks did not indicate when she plans to propose a local ban.

Gov. DeWine suggested a statewide flavor ban is necessary but did not outright request one. He said smoking-related illnesses cost Ohio Medicaid $1.85 billion a year.

Retailers who sell flavored tobacco are angry about DeWine’s veto, saying adults use them as well.

Last year the FDA proposed a ban on all menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars, which the tobacco industry is fighting.

Becca Costello grew up in Williamsburg and Batavia (in Clermont County) listening to WVXU. Before joining the WVXU newsroom, she worked in public radio & TV journalism in Bloomington, Indiana and Lincoln, Nebraska. Becca has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including from local chapters of the Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists, and contributed to regional and national Murrow Award winners. Becca has a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Cincinnati Christian University. Becca's dog Cincy (named for the city they once again call home) is even more anxious than she is.