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Oklahoma State Senator pushes for stricter local smoking restrictions

Publication Date: 2012-12-12
  • Author:Kristen Shanahan

Oklahoma State Senator Frank Simpson is pushing a bill that would allow cities to enforce stricter smoking laws than what the state currently has on the books.

Senator Simpson says Oklahoma and Tennessee are the only two states that limit cities from enacting harsher smoking laws than what the state allows. Senator Simpson says he is for local control and hopes if his bill passes communities will take advantage of it

Right now, smoking is prohibited in Oklahoma's indoor workplaces unless a separate ventilation system is installed. However, smoking is allowed in places like bars, bingo halls and tobacco stores.

State Senator Frank Simpson is an author on the bill that would give cities the option to suspend smoking inside and around public buildings completely.

Some people agree with more local control.

"Who better knows their constituents than the cities. Let the people of that city help decide whether you can smoke in a bar or any kind of public venue," Guy Llewellyn said.

Senator Simpson says if the bill passes he believes many cities would enact stricter smoking rules.

"Smoking is one of our biggest health problems in the state of Oklahoma. Smoking is estimated to cost each tax payer about $5,000 dollars a year just to take care of the health issues associated with smoking," Senator Simpson said...

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