Posts Tagged ‘Smoke-free Oklahoma’

Fact vs. Fear and Fiction

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Have you been keeping up with all of the recent news in Oklahoma regarding restoring local rights so that cities can choose to become smoke-free?  We have!  You can find them on our “news article” tab.

We keep hearing the same old arguments about how this will infringe on the “smoker’s” rights.  How it will be hard and in some cases impossible to enforce.  How it will not allow them to compete with stand-alone bars and casinos.  How for a tobacco retailer, it will be hard for them to enforce because they have stores all over the state and it would be difficult and impossible to manage. 

None of these things are true.  They are based on Big Tobacco lies and feed on fiction and some people’s fear of “losing their rights.” 

Currently musicians and other workers do not have the right to breathe smoke-free air in their workplaces and cities have no rights under current Oklahoma law to become smoke-free.   

FACT:  Voters Want a Smoke-Free Oklahoma

  • 68% of voters believe the rights of customers and employees to breathe clean air is more important than the rights of smokers to smoke and owners to allow smoking.
  • 59% of Oklahomans SUPPORT a smoke-free environment for Oklahoma workers and families.
  • Smoke-free laws will increase business – 18% of those surveyed say they would go out MORE OFTEN if restaurants and bars were smoke-free.
  • 94% of Oklahomans believe secondhand smoke is a health hazard – 59% say it is a “serious” health hazard, 22% say it is a “moderate” health hazard, and 13% say it is a “minor” health hazard.

FACT: Secondhand Smoke is a Major Health Hazard in Oklahoma

  • There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Approximately 700 deaths in Oklahoma each year are attributable to secondhand smoke exposure, about the same number that are caused by motor vehicle accidents.
  • Oklahoma’s “Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act” was broadened in 2003, but it left several broad exemptions or loopholes.
  • These loopholes pose a known public health risk for thousands of Oklahoma workers in these places, including many nonsmokers. All visitors to these places also are subject to harmful exposure.

FACT: Smoke-Free Will Save and Protect Oklahoma Workers

  • Smoke-free policies are the most economic and effective protection from secondhand smoke exposure – separate areas, air cleaning or ventilation does not eliminate exposure.
  • Smoke-free workplace laws immediately and notably improved heart health (including fewer heart attack hospitalizations) particularly in nonsmokers, according to studies in Colorado, Indiana, Montana, New York, Ohio, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Scotland.

FACT: Smoke-Free Will Save Oklahoma Dollars

  • Secondhand smoke exposure imposes economic costs on individuals, businesses and society as a whole through direct and indirect medical costs and productivity losses.
  • New York’s smoke-free air law led to $56 million savings in direct health care costs in 2004.
  • Medical costs and economic losses to nonsmokers suffering from lung cancer or heart disease due to second hand smoke are estimated at nearly $6 billion a year.

Printable Fact Sheets can be found at Smoke-free