Two million in indoor smoking fines go unpaid

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) – More than $2 million fines for violating Ohio’s indoor smoking ban remain unpaid even as violations of the ban have decreased.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News ( reports that Ohio Department of Health records show $2.1 million in uncollected fines. But violations of the smoking ban dropped from 2,287 in 2008 to 334 in 2014.

Ohio passed the Smoke Free Workplace Act prohibiting smoking in public spaces and workplaces in 2006.

Lisa Zumstein of the health department says violations have decreased as businesses become more educated about the law and fewer businesses are committing multiple violations.

Money collected from the fines goes to a fund that offsets the expenses of enforcing the law.

The Ohio Division of Control can reject liquor licenses if a business owner repeatedly fails to pay smoking-related fines.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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