Ordinance bans smoking on city-owned property
A new ordinance passed by Stigler City Council may not be noticed by many, but could have a major impact on the city, said Denise Daniels, director of the TSET (Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust) Health Living Program in Haskell County.
Ordinance 305, which became effective June 12, prohibits the use of tobacco products and vapor products in and on city property. Ordinance 305 amends the Stigler Municipal Code, Section 10-47. A person who violates this municipal code could be fined $50.
Daniels said the city’s passing of the ordinance will make it possible for Stigler to become a Certified Healthy Community and then to apply for TSET grants. “This is the first step in that process,” she said.
Stigler may also be eligible to apply for other grants, Daniels explained.
Stigler is one of approximately 50 communities in the state that has passed an ordinance banning use of tobacco products.
The new ordinance will directly affect city employees, as it will determine where they can and cannot use tobacco products, but Daniels said she doesn’t know how many others will notice the difference regarding the ban on smoking in certain locations in Stigler.
City property that will be affected by the new ordinance includes city hall, police department, fire department, Veterans Park, the city lake, city barns and workshops, the library and baseball fields.
Roye Park is owned by Stigler Schools, “so it’s already tobacco free,” Daniels said. A state law that went into effect in August 2015 prohibits use of tobacco products in and on school property 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Daniels said the passing of the ordinance is a positive step for the city. “I think that it shows that the city of Stigler supports the health of the citizens of our community,” she said. “That’s going to be the greater impact, in my opinion. It’s just the support that it shows toward them being healthier and being tobacco free.”
By Anita Reding, Managing Editor
Information provided by the TSET Healthy Living Program
Why should my community adopt a law making local government property tobacco free?
• Tobacco use kills more than 2,500 Oklahomans every year.
• Tobacco-free policies are proven to increase the number of tobacco users who quit and reduce the number of people who start using tobacco.
• By going entirely tobacco free, your local government will support its citizens, employees and visitors in their efforts to quit or reduce the amount of tobacco they use, and it will encourage non-users never to start using tobacco products.
• At least 52 Oklahoma communities have passed tobacco-free ordinances.
• Smokers annually cost their employers at least $5,800 per smoker in direct health care expenses, lost productivity due to sick days and smoke breaks, and lower productivity because of nicotine addiction.
• Local government should limit outdoor smoking on local government property.
• Litter from tobacco products is harmful to children, pets and the environment.
Properties subject to the law include all municipal owned and operated properties, indoor and outdoor.
Signs will be posted on property that the local government owns or operates.
Prohibited conduct (from Ordinance 305)
• Smoking tobacco products is prohibited in all places in which smoking tobacco products is prohibited by Oklahoma state law.
• Using tobacco produccts and vapor products is prohibited on all municipal property, indoor and outdoor, including parks and recreational areas.
• Nothing in this article prohibits any person or entity from prohibiting the use of tobacco products or vapor products on their property, even if the use of tobacco products or vapor products is not otherwise prohibited in that area.
• No person or entity shall knowingly permit the use of tobacco products or vapor products in an area that is under the control of that person or entity and in which the use of tobacco products or vapor products is prohibited by law.
• No person or entity shall permit the placement of ash cans, within an area under the control of that person or entity and in which smoking is prohibited by law. However, the presence of ash receptacles shall not be a defense to a charge of the use of tobacco products or vapor products in violation of any provisiion of this article.