The Woodward News

Local News

December 23, 2013

Fallin issues e-cigarette ban on state property

Woodward, Okla. — OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin issued an executive order on Monday that bans the use of electronic cigarettes and vapor devices on state property, saying the potential long-term health effects of the products are unknown.

The order applies to all land and property owned or leased by the state, including state vehicles, effective Jan. 1. The only exception is for residents of state residential facilities for veterans.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution and create a water vapor that users inhale.

"E-cigarettes release vapor that contains chemicals that can impact employees and visitors to state property," Fallin said in a statement. "Additionally, many electronic cigarettes look like traditional cigarettes and emit a vapor that looks like smoke. This creates confusion for employees and visitors and presents enforcement challenges for state agencies."

Fallin is an anti-smoking advocate who issued a similar ban of tobacco products on state property two years ago. Her order will be distributed to the chief executives of individual state agencies, which are responsible for enforcing the prohibition on e-cigarettes.

But Oklahoma Vapors Advocacy League President and Chairman Sean Gore called Fallin's order an "abuse of power."

"The Legislature is actively working on this issue, and she's sidestepping lawmakers who are working hard to develop meaningful regulation of these products," said Gore, who owns vapor shops in Guthrie and Edmond. "I have a binder full of studies ... with conclusions that there are no health risks to bystanders."

With more people turning to smoke-free, electronic cigarettes to help quit smoking, the vapor industry is blossoming, with mom-and-pop operations popping up across the state. A bill introduced last session to impose age restrictions on the purchase of electronic cigarettes led to a political fight over how they would be defined in the law and taxed by the state.

Meanwhile, courts have held that e-cigarettes can be regulated as tobacco products, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it plans to develop a proposed rule that could bring the products under its regulatory authority.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014

  • Winners of Cudd Legacy award named

    Three veterans of the oil industry will receive this year's Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award during the Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention on Aug. 7 at the Woodward Conference Center.

    July 24, 2014

  • Benefit gun raffles underway

    Woodward Reserve police officers and other Woodward full time officers have come together to support one of their own.

    July 24, 2014

  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014