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Smoking bans approved in three states; voters split on tobacco taxes

[JURIST] Ballot measures approved in three US states Tuesday will ban smoking in many public places. In Arizona, Nevada and Ohio [JURIST news archives] voters chose more comprehensive measures over less restrictive versions generally favored by the food and beverage industry. Ohio's Issue 5 [text via smartvoter.org], for example, prohibits smoking in workplaces and other public areas, with tobacco stores and private clubs among the main exceptions. The alternative Issue 4 [text] would have allowed separate smoking areas in restaurants, bars and other establishments. With 98.7 percent of precincts counted, the Ohio secretary of state's office reported these unofficial results [returns] for Issue 5 Wednesday afternoon:

YES: 2,147,792 (58.3 percent)
NO: 1,536,102 (41.7 percent)

From Cleveland, the Plain Dealer has local coverage.

The more-restrictive smoking bans passed by smaller but still decisive margins in Arizona [Proposition 201 text; unofficial results] and Nevada [Question 5 materials; unofficial results].

Meanwhile, voters in Arizona [Proposition 203 text; unofficial results] and South Dakota [Measure 2 text; unofficial results] favored measures raising excise taxes on some tobacco products, while similar tax increases were apparently defeated in California [Proposition 86 text; unofficial results] and Missouri [Amendment 3 text; unofficial results]. Successful measures in Florida [Amendment 4 materials; unofficial results] and Idaho [Referendum 107 text; unofficial results] will restrict the use of proceeds from the 1998 settlement between the tobacco industry and state attorneys general [backgrounder].

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