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Ohio Residents "Too Jittery" Study Finds
COLUMBUS, Ohio (CAP) - Less than two months after Ohio became the 19th state to ban smoking, a new study by the Meigs County Tourism Board finds that residents are more on edge now than ever before. As a result, tourism numbers are at a 36-year low.
"As you know, December is a big, big month for Ohio tourism," said board spokesman Del Hunt. "But a recent survey found that out-of-staters don't like what we've become without our cigarettes, and they're not coming back."
Exit polls performed along Interstates 70, 77 and 80 found tourists leaving at an alarming rate. State officials expressed concern at the mass exodus, but said they really don't mind that "all those West Virginians" are finally heading home.
"You know what, if I want this kind of reception, I'll go to Massachusetts," said one Indiana man as he and his family were pulled over for speeding on I-74.
A bill is moving forward in the Ohio state legislature that could overturn the ban on smoking. Supporters of the bill rallied outside the state house last night, holding their lighters up in traditional concert tribute. Resident Harold Rhineman said he's had to take up recreational drug use just to calm his nerves.
"I know it's just a bill," said Rhineman as he tapped his arm looking for a vein. "Yes, it's only a bill. And it's sitting there on Capitol Hill. And we're here to make sure it doesn't stay there."
If passed, the measure would create a schedule by which residents could light up. People living on the odd side of the street would be able to smoke on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and people living on the even side of the street would be allowed to smoke on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Sundays are the Sabbath Day, which traditionally means everyone can smoke all they want.
Opponents of the bill said it's bad because people will start smoking again. As if they ever really stopped. They say if this bill passes, they'll focus their efforts on banning farting in public places.
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