Impact of smoking on Oklahomans

Sunday, May 12th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Oklahomans suffer more health problems from tobacco use than any other state, now lawmakers are taking steps to snuff out the problem.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Oklahoma is 10% higher than the national average for lung cancer-related deaths. We have 25% higher incidence of coronary disease deaths, and 20% higher cases of bronchitis and emphysema, all related to smoking. That costs the state billions of dollars in healthcare.

A spokesperson for the American Lung Association, Richard Barnes, says it's a serious problem that needs immediate attention. "The purpose of creating the committees was to get citizen input for the state health departments purposes and devising appropriate means to address these serious health issues and try to bring about as rapidly as possible."