Oklahoma health department to push anti-smoking bill

Oklahoman Modified: December 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm •  Published: December 11, 2012

The 101-member House passed the bill 57-30, according to online House records.

Among those voting against the bill was Rep. T.W. Shannon, a Republican from Lawton who is the House speaker-elect for the 2013 session that begins in February. Shannon did not immediately return a call Tuesday seeking comment on the proposal.

Oklahoma State Board of Health President, Dr. R. Murali, Krishna, said health officials need to do more to inform lawmakers about the health risks of smoking.

“I hope that we will be able to assist Speaker Shannon to take an issue in favor of adequate administration to control tobacco for local rights,” Krishna said.

Cline said the goal is to continue reducing the number of smokers in Oklahoma, currently estimated at about 25 percent of the state's population.

“One way to do that is to unleash the power of communities to take action on their own,” Cline said.