Lawton tobacco ban expands

Published: Oct. 15, 2014 at 3:09 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla._The tobacco ban in the city of Lawton is expanding, to include all city-owned property, including vehicles.

Tuesday, the city council approved an ordinance that prohibits all tobacco and vapor products. There was opposition to the measure from three city council members and the Deputy City Attorney indicated there could be legal problems with it down the road. He also noted that this measure is more restrictive than the state law, which allows cities to impose a smoking ban, but not a total ban on tobacco use. However, anti-tobacco advocate Sandy Foster praised the city's decision.

"A lot of us will say it was a ten-year, overnight success. But, we've been working on it for a lot of years, a lot of hours, a lot of time; that we've put into it. To be able to see it come to happen is really exciting for us," said anti-tobacco advocate Sandy Foster.

The tobacco ban was approved in a 5 to 3 vote, and will go into effect in 30 days.

Also, the city approved a resolution to spend hotel-motel tax money on an annual fireworks display. City leaders set aside 6 percent of the annual collections to pay for the tax. That amount comes to roughly 65-thousand dollars. They will begin receiving bids for the 2015 display within a few weeks. The celebration will be at Elmer Thomas Park, and could be a two-day event.

The council also received the resignation of City Parks and Recreation Director Kim Shahan. He's been in that position for 15 years. Shahan said he plans to devote his time to the ministry.