The failure of that bill to scrap tobacco pre-emption — heck, its failure to even pass out of a Senate committee — didn’t exactly reflect well for the power-broker skills of Fallin.
But the governor impressively turned lemons into tobacco-hating lemonade. The day after the defeat of SB 36, Fallinunveiled an initiative petition to push for restrictions on secondhand smoke.
“Improving health and wellness in Oklahoma is a priority for me,” said Fallin, who noted in her State of the State speech that both of her parents had died of smoking-related illness. “Smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in Oklahoma, killing 6,000 men and women each year. Hundreds of these people aren’t even smokers and have instead fallen ill as a result of secondhand smoke.”
She made the announcement in a news conference at the state Capitol, where an observer had even come costumed as the Grim Reaper. Presumably, the governor had not invited him and his scythe for a photo-op the day she rejected federal dollars for a Medicaid expansion that would cover about 180,000 people not currently eligible.
People can sign the petition at DontSmokeOnMe.com.