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Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Directors Approve Resolution in Support of Smokefree Legislation

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 20, 2012) – The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust’s Board of Directors is encouraging lawmakers to consider legislation that protects Oklahomans from toxic secondhand smoke.

The resolution, approved by the board in a unanimous vote Thursday, respectfully requests lawmakers consider legislation to repeal a clause in state law that keeps cities from making local smoking policies. The resolution goes on to request lawmakers consider laws to protect all Oklahoma workers from exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace and in public places.

Restoring the rights of cities to set their own smoking policies is also on the legislative agenda for the Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan and the State Board of Health. At one time, cities in Oklahoma were able to set their own smoking policies. In the 1980’s a change in state law, at the request of the tobacco industry, took those rights away. Oklahoma is one of two states that severely limits what cities can do to reduce the harms of tobacco.

Secondhand smoke contains more than 60 toxins and cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, lead and butane. The U.S. Surgeon General cautions that there is no safe exposure to secondhand smoke.

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working toward shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing researcher, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. For more information visit www.tset.ok.gov.