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Anti-Smoking Bill Gets Political Support
Senate Bill 36 or the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act is authored by Senator Frank Simpson from district 14.
"What this bill in essence does, it provides local control on an issue of public health," Simpson said. He authored a similar bill that died in committee last year, "Senate Bill 36 provides local communities to set smoking standards that they feel are in the best interest of their own communities," Simpson added.
State officials have tried passing similar legislation four times in the past, but this time, Governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett have thrown their support behind SB 36.
"I think she and I share a common belief that we have to address the health concerns of people in this state," Mick Cornett said.
Right now, according to the CDC, 26% of Oklahomans are smokers, much higher than the national average of 19% and putting us at 48th place in the nation.
"Allowing municipalities to have a greater say in smoking ordinances is going to be a step in the right direction, for the health of the state of Oklahoma," Mayor Cornett said.
But changing state law so that cities can go smoke free does not sit well with everyone, "I think that's a bit much, telling people they can't smoke anywhere," Johnny Reed said.
Critics argue that cities going smoke free, takes away the rights of businesses that cater to smokers, "I believe everybody should be able to keep their rights, whatever rights we have left," Michelle Dickson said.
"If i own a business i want to make my own decisions," Dickson added.
But Senator Simpson says this gives local cities more rights to make the decision for themselves, and that improving the health of Oklahomans is something we all can agree on,
"Even though this bill does not outlaw smoking, if it influences someone to give up tobacco and makes them a healthier individual that is a good thing," Simpson said.
The bill currently sits in committee, Simpson hopes it at least gets a vote this session.
Posted: Friday, February 15 2013, 04:28 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Tornado hits OKC suburb, kicking up debris
May 19, 2013 22:29 GMT
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) -- A tornado kicked up debris in an Oklahoma City suburb and threatened a number of tourist attractions on historic Route 66 before growing into a larger storm that rolled across rural parts of central Oklahoma.
Television footage Sunday showed a tornado at Edmond . The storm threatened a novelty soda-pop store and a historic barn in the small town of Arcadia, then grew into a larger storm as it moved northeastward a few miles north of the Turner Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The Storm Prediction Center had forecast a moderate risk of severe weather in Oklahoma and adjacent portions of Kansas and Missouri.
TV video also showed power flashes from transformers blowing out as they were hit by high winds or debris.
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