Solo truck drivers can smoke in Ohio

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Truckers smoking alone in their cabs now are exempt from Ohio’s new anti-smoking law. The Ohio Department of Health decided to exempt commercial trucks from the ban after facing heated criticism from drivers and the trucking industry, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Ohio voters on Nov. 7 approved the constitutional amendment that prohibits almost all workplace smoking and bars it in most public places. The trucking community didn’t realize the smoking restrictions would apply to company-owned vehicles and possibly even to owner-operator vehicles because they would be considered workplaces, said Larry Davis, president of the Ohio Trucking Association.

Health department officials told the Dispatch that truck drivers who have at least one passenger still would be prohibited from smoking. Before backing down, they had said that because trucks are workplaces, solo drivers would be covered by the ban. Davis told the Dispatch that OTA would have fought the law’s previous inclusion of solo drivers in the ban, and was pleased that the health department reversed course.