New Oklahoma lawmakers offer a new anti-tobacco opportunity
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The head of Oklahoma’s leading tobacco-cessation organization says there will be new opportunities to cut tobacco use when a new class of Oklahoma lawmakers takes office.
Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Executive Director John Woods unveiled proposals Wednesday to cut Oklahoma’s adult smoking rate nearly in half. The Oklahoman reports the changes include raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21, increasing penalties for selling to underage people and prohibiting smoking in cars when children are present.
Earlier this year, lawmakers approved a $1-per-pack tax increase on cigarettes to pay for teacher pay raises. It was the first cigarette tax increase in Oklahoma in more than a decade.
At least one-quarter of the Oklahoma Senate and nearly half the House could include new members when the Legislature convenes in February.