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For Release: Dec. 9, 2010
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Turning Point Conference Calls for Restoring Local Rights for Community Tobacco Prevention Ordinances

More than 200 persons representing the health care professions, businesses, civic and professional groups, and public health were challenged today to work with their state legislators in the upcoming legislative session to restore the rights of Oklahoma communities to adopt effective tobacco prevention measures. The challenge came as part of the 2010 Turning Point and Fit Kids Conference held at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

Turning Point is a public-private collaboration designed to improve the health of Oklahomans through public health partnerships in communities throughout the state. The Oklahoma Turning Point Council has adopted restoring local rights as one of its key legislative agenda items for 2011.

Oklahoma is one of only two states in the nation that prohibits communities from adopting any ordinance on tobacco that is stronger than state law.  “Currently, communities cannot respond to local needs to develop tobacco prevention ordinances that would improve and protect the health of citizens, compete for new businesses and new residents, and create a healthier workforce,” says State Health Commissioner Dr.Terry Cline. “Restoring local rights on tobacco prevention policies would allow community leaders to develop local ordinances that best fit their community’s health needs.”

Joining Turning Point’s call for restoring local rights are the Oklahoma Municipal League, the Oklahoma Prevention Policy Alliance, numerous major health organizations in the state, as well as the health boards for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City-County Health Department and Tulsa Health Department.

For more information about Turning Point, visit this Web site: www.okturningpoint.org.

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