Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin looking to give city government power to decide smoking laws

Oklahoma's governor is urging the Legislature to change the state's smoking laws -- by placing them in the hands of local government.

Currently the laws are dictated by the state, but Gov. Mary Fallin wants that authority to be passed on to the municipalities.

"I urge the legislature to restore local rights to allow cities to be able to pass smoke-free ordinances, as tobacco is the number one killer in Oklahoma," she said. "If a community wants to take action to improve the health of their citizens, let's let them do it."

So far, 10 cities have passed resolutions in support of this measure. Most recently, Sand Springs joined that group.

"It's time that we look at not only the rights of smokers, but we look at the rights of folks who do not smoke," said Rocky Rogers, Sand Springs city manager.

But Rogers was quick to say that even if local governments were to be given the power, smokers shouldn't be afraid of any overly strict laws.

"We're certainly not there to put down an oppressive hand, of any sort," he said. "We're there to discuss and find out what works."

One smoker, however, is a bit skeptical.

"It's my choice," said Debra Linebarger. "I don't think the government should be telling me what I can and can't do, personally."

In addition to Sand Springs, the other communities that have passed resolutions in support of this measure are Oklahoma City, Seminole, Tahlequah, Muskogee, Elk City, Hulbert, Prague, Clinton and Cordell.

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