The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is supporting a bid by the Ohio Licensed Beverage Association to amend the Ohio constitution to exempt businesses such as bars, restaurants and bowling alleys from smoking restrictions. The amendment would also override a number of local ordinances banning indoor smoking. To gather 300,000 signatures to put the amendment on the ballot in November, the business lobby is running web advertisements offering $1.50 for each signature collected. "If people knew that R.J. Reynolds is funding the push, I think they'd think twice about it," Ken Slenkovich, the director of policy and planning for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, told The Plain Dealer.
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