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Lawmakers distrust local citizens?

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: February 20, 2013

However, requiring smokers to limit tobacco use in public places isn't an unreasonable burden. Adults can imbibe alcohol at a restaurant but not behind the wheel of a car; limiting where you can light a cigarette is similar. And businesses in states with local control of smoking ordinances aren't floundering financially.

Still, the bill's supporters should drop their overheated “Big Tobacco” rhetoric. Business-bashing is both unwarranted and counterproductive. Ultimately, this debate isn't about sending a message to “Big Tobacco,” browbeating smokers or “punishing” anyone. It's about increasing the power of citizens at the local level.

If the voters can be trusted when they elect members of the Legislature, surely those same voters can be trusted when electing mayors and city councils to set local policy. It's that simple.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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