Ada City Council approves smoking ban on public city property

By: Ashley Park Email
By: Ashley Park Email

ADA, OK -- Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a law in April that bans smoking on property owned by public entities. Tonight, the Ada City Council is voting on an ordinance to mirror the state law that goes into affect November 1st.

"The big difference is we're also asking city council to prohibit all tobacco products including e-cigarettes on all city owned property," said Angela Harjo, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at the Pontotoc County Health Department. "So that would include parks, any governmental city owned facilities indoor and outdoor.

Harjo says although e-cigarettes are advertised as less harmful than regular cigarettes, the health department encourages prevention of all types of smoking.

There are far less carcinogens, and we're not saying to completely outlaw or ban e-cigarettes, we're just asking to treat those as a tobacco product and limit the exposure and second hand exposure, especially exposure to our youth," Harjo said.

Locals we talked to support the ordinance, but say smokers have rights, too...

"I think it's a good idea and it should go through because it'll create less of a place and time for people to smoke and stop a bunch of people from smoking," said resident, Ryan Hood. "I know a lot of young people smoke and I think it could prevent that as well."

"I think it should pass, but maybe with some alterations," said resident, Kay Shurtleff. "Maybe have an area of the park where there is smoking allowed with some ashtrays and stuff and the rest of the area could be what they call the clean air area."

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