It’s hard to keep on top of everything that’s going on, but ever since Demetrius forwarded an e-mail to me explaining the differences between Issue 4 and Issue 5 in Ohio, I’ve been meaning to post something about it.

Here is the NBC Nightly News video and transcript of a story done by Lea Thompson in August.

What’s the difference between Smoke Free Ohio and Smoke Less Ohio?

Well, you can’t tell by the names. Smoke Free Ohio would ban smoking in all public places. If Smoke Less Ohio passes, smoking would be allowed almost everywhere — bowling alleys, bars, restaurants. The real difference? Smoke Less Ohio is backed by tobacco companies. But you won’t find that anywhere on the petition.

“It’s clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” says John Seffrin with the American Cancer Society. “It makes it sound like they’re trying to protect people when they’re doing just the opposite.”

And it’s not just happening in Ohio. In Arizona, there are likely to also be two initiatives on the ballot: One called “Smoke Free Arizona” — backed by health groups — the other called “The Non-Smoker Protection Act” — which certainly sounds like it’s in favor of a ban on smoking in public places. But it turns out to be almost entirely funded by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Click here for the rest of the article, and here for the web site of Smoke Free Ohio. I think probably the most important point from the site is this: Don’t be fooled into skipping Issue 4 or voting for both! Issue 4 is a constitutional amendment. If Issue 4 passes, it would trump Issue 5. Vote NO on Issue 4.

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