There is an ardent movement in Tulsa County, Okla. to ban the use of tobacco in all city and county owned parks, with four cities in the county having already signed on and a fifth city being targeted to join that group.
“Our goal is to have all of Tulsa County public parks, city- or county-owned, to be tobacco free,” said Vanessa Hall-Harper of the Tulsa Health Department, according to a report on TulsaWorld.com.
Bixby, Collinsville, Owasso and Sand Springs have all passed ordinances making parks in their respective cities tobacco-free, and the Tobacco Free Coalition for Tulsa County is currently trying to get Broken Arrow to be the fifth. The group, along with the Tulsa Health Department, held a public meeting on Thursday to discuss the possible change and to give city officials input before they consider drafting an ordinance. Scott Esmond, director of parks and recreation for Broken Arrow, believes an ordinance could be ready for the city council to vote on by the early part of summer.
The coalition is also actively working with the cities of Tulsa, Glenpool, Jenks and Sperry to ban the use of tobacco in their parks and other recreation areas such as golf courses, although each city is able to craft its own ban. While enforcement remains a question for all municipalities, having an ordinance in place would give officials the ability to charge those who do use tobacco with a misdemeanor.
Tulsa County is Oklahoma’s second largest by population with just over 600,000 residents, though it ranks as the densest in the state.