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Public health officials continue push for a ban on menthol cigarettes

A hand holding a lit cigarette.
Public officials at many levels of government are pushing back against smoking habits.

The City of Cleveland and its Public Health Department are one step closer to banning menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products.

A Franklin County Court of Common Pleas judge recently ruled that a state law which had taken away the rights of cities to regulate the sale of tobacco products was unconstitutional.

Governor Mike DeWine originally vetoed the bill but the legislature overrode the governor’s veto.

Thursday on the "Sound of Ideas," we'll discuss the legislative back-and-forth and the fight over banning menthol cigarettes, particularly through the lens of how smoking has affected the African American community.

We'll be joined by Cleveland's Public Health Director Dr. David Margolius. He is an outspoken opponent of smoking. Plus, we'll hear from a national health advocate who can speak to the fact that the Biden administration recently delayed a much anticipated menthol cigarette ban.

Later in the hour we'll learn about Cuyahoga County's newly-formed Women's Health Commission. The commission is made up of 13 leaders in medical, legal, community, and health and human services sectors. The commission will work to address inequities women in the region are facing.

Nine of the members were nominated by County Executive Chris Ronayne from organizations like Neighborhood Family Practice to Birthing Beautiful Communities. Some of these members have said they want the commission to address issues like Cleveland's high maternal and infant mortality rate, as well as provide better education for both patients and providers.

- David Margolius, M.D., Public Health Director, City of Cleveland
- Phillip Gardiner, Dr. P.H., Founding Member and Co-Chair, African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council
- Heather Brissett, Vice President of Community Wellness and Chief Program Officer, Murtis Taylor Human Services System
- Chris Ronayne, Executive, Cuyahoga County
- Airica Steed, Ed.D, President & CEO, MetroHealth System
- Tenille Kaus, Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Advancement, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Jenny Hamel is the host of the “Sound of Ideas.”
Rachel is the supervising producer for Ideastream Public Media’s morning public affairs show, the “Sound of Ideas.”