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Oklahoma health department to push anti-smoking bill

Oklahoman Modified: December 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm •  Published: December 11, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Pushing a measure to allow cities and towns in Oklahoma to pass anti-smoking ordinances that are more restrictive than state law will be the Oklahoma State Department of Health's top priority in the upcoming legislative session, state health officials said Tuesday.

Oklahoma law currently prohibits local ordinances anti-smoking ordinances that are more restrictive than state law and a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control singled out Oklahoma City and Tulsa for not having indoor smoking bans.

Oklahoma Health Commissioner Terry Cline noted that bill that would have allowed for stronger local ordinances passed the House during the legislative session earlier this year but died in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

“What's so ironic about that is the bill focused on simply returning the decision-making to local communities,” Cline said. “At the same time we hear a group of individuals railing against `we “don't want decisions made in Washington, D.C., we want those decisions made closer to home,' we're not applying that same principal when it comes to tobacco,” in Oklahoma.

“The Legislature is telling us they'd rather that decision made at the state Capitol rather than having local communities make those decisions,” Cline said.

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