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Smoking bill to be health care priority in Oklahoma, health commissioner says

A smoking bill will be a health care priority next legislative session in Oklahoma.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: December 12, 2012
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Crain, who will again serve as the committee's chairman, said his biggest problem with last year's bill was that it was unclear what the bill's ultimate goal was.

“At some point, we need to expect people to take personal responsibility for their actions,” Crain said. “We have done everything we can to educate people on the harms of tobacco smoking. If the purpose of the bill is to say ‘We are going to outlaw tobacco use in Oklahoma,' then let's go ahead and say ‘The purpose is to outlaw tobacco use in Oklahoma.' Let's not keep infringing upon how we expect people to act.”

Crain said he hasn't yet seen this year's version of the bill, so he couldn't say whether he planned to support it or vote against it.

Also at the state board of health meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss two pending court cases, one a personnel matter, the other a lawsuit regarding Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this year, the state Health Department withdrew Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, funding from three Planned Parenthood clinics in Tulsa. In November, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a federal lawsuit against Cline, alleging the move was politically motivated.

On Tuesday, the board didn't take any action regarding either lawsuit.

Contributing:

The Associated Press

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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