The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Board of Directors
WHEREAS the Oklahoma State Board of Health has declared tobacco use as Oklahoma 's number one health problem; and
WHEREAS Oklahoma's success in addressing its devastating tobacco use problem is dependent upon effective policy and programs, including the reduction or elimination of tobacco in the workplace, to promote health and to protect Oklahomans of all ages and populations from exposure to secondhand smoke; and
WHEREAS the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has implemented a policy effective February 15, 2005 declaring that a tobacco-free environment will be maintained and will apply to all employees, volunteers, visitors, all inmates confined in departmental facilities, all Department of Corrections state owned property, all areas of private prisons, county jails, and halfway houses where Oklahoma Department of Corrections inmates are housed as specified in the contract, and all state-owned vehicles; and
WHEREAS the Oklahoma Department of Corrections offered tobacco cessation classes to staff and inmates prior to the implementation of the tobacco-free environment policy; and
WHEREAS the elimination of tobacco from the workplace will reduce the health hazards associated with the use of tobacco, prevent exposure to tobacco smoke for nonsmoking employees, visitors and inmates, and improve the sanitary conditions in work and living areas; and
WHEREAS the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has over 4,600 employees and over 23,000 inmates who will be working and living in a safer and healthier environment due to the implementation of this policy.
WHEREAS many Oklahomans are not yet protected by smokefree policies on the job; and
WHEREAS smokefree policies increase quit attempts and decrease consumption among smokers, particularly for the majority who want to quit smoking; and
WHEREAS the Department of Corrections is joining other state agencies, such as the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, in promoting true health on the job via the establishment of effective tobacco use prevention and cessation policies;
BE IT NOW RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust commends the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for its adoption of a tobacco-free environment to prevent employees, volunteers, visitors, and inmates from exposure to the deadly effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.