Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

News Summary

Cities, towns know best

Publication Date: 2012-02-23
  • Author:Opinion
  • Publication:The Norman Transcript

State legislators will, again, be given the opportunity to return some local control to smoking restrictions.

House Bill 2267 passed the House Public Health Committee and now is heading to the full House of Representatives floor for a hearing. A similar measure was advanced in the 2011 session but failed to get a vote.

The legislation repeals the state law that prevents cities and towns from passing legislation more restrictive than the state’s laws. Only Oklahoma and Tennessee have that rule...

The reality is very few cities will step forward and ban smoking in bars, parks or other locations. Norman may push forward with such a bill, but it’s unlikely it will sweep through the state.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in Oklahoma, and elected leaders in our cities and towns should be able to decide if tougher rules are a good fit for their communities.