, Muskogee, OK


December 12, 2012

Smoking bill deserves full airing

— A push by the Oklahoma State Department of Health to allow decisions on anti-smoking ordinances to be made at the local level is the right move.

Department of Health officials say they will push a measure during the next legislative session that would allow cities and towns to have more restrictive smoking bans.

State law prohibits local anti-smoking ordinances that are more restrictive than state law.

The measure, which passed the House during the most recent legislative session, died in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The bill, according to state health officials, would have allowed decisions to be made community by community.

Each Oklahoma community deserves to make the decision instead of having it be restricted by state law.

Issues worth debating:

• Smoking bans restrict the rights of smokers.

• Bans protect the rights of non-smokers.

• Smokers’ rights end where non-smokers’ rights begin.

• Non-smokers should be able to decide whether entering a private building that allows smoking is worth their business.

• Non-smokers should not have to endure unwanted smoke.

Each of those opinions should be discussed and acted upon locally.

The bill would allow communities to decide smoking issues.

If the 25 percent of Oklahomans who are smokers are to co-exist with non-smokers, decisions on bans should come after hearing from both sides at the local level.

The measure deserves a full vote of the state Legislature.

Text Only
AP Video
Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.