Many veterans residing tobacco use in public facilities afraid of executive order the governor can make them move, if you do not give up his habit. The order of the Governor Mary Fallin, signed on February 6 declares, “The use of any tobacco products is prohibited in any property owned, lease or contract for the use of the State of Oklahoma.”
The procedure, which officially entered into force on 6 August, also prohibits the use of tobacco products in public funds. Belinda White, the Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman said the Oklahoman on Tuesday that it is not clear exactly how the agency will enforce the order, which is similar to state law.
White said about 20 percent of the 1376 veterans residing in state facilities smokers.
“We’re at the beginning of the process of developing procedures to implement the order,” she said in a statement. “We did not apply to non-compliance issue, but I do not see the category as a method of compliance.”
White said that the department «fights” order, mainly due to smoking or using other forms of tobacco yields nearly 300 veterans of Oklahoma to do something. “Our agency feels bad for them,” she said. “That’s about all you need to do some of these places … even if it’s bad for them. “But in a situation, many of them, they were placed with them when they were in the service, so it seems a little unfair.”
Representative Fallin Alex Weintz said the order in which there is no enforcement mechanism, does not necessarily mean that veterans have to move if they do not want to stop using tobacco products. “The order simply prohibits tobacco use on public property”, Weintz said. “Some institutions may choose how to enforce the ban.
Douglas Baker, lived in the center of the veterans of sulfur, one of seven state agencies in Oklahoma. Baker, 64, says he is ready to “go here” if the use of tobacco is prohibited in the center.
He said that military forces are often given cigarettes in your diet and tobacco products are available at the time he served.
“Almost all of us smoke … almost 100 percent, I would say,” he said. “And I enjoyed every minute I was smoking … I have no plans to leave.” Baker said that he and another veteran living in the center have already discussed the “escape plan” with a social worker. “We’re going to Norman, a small two-room apartment,” he said. “I’m not here to stay … even though I really love living here.”
Sulphur Veterans Center is relatively new and there is one of the most picturesque regions of the state. This is also the “last stop type place for many of these guys,” said Nancy Gallup, center administrator.
Gallup said 44,122 veterans are at the center of tobacco.
“We had hoped to delay,” she said. “When they get to our facility, it may be the last place they live. I know it’s not good for them, even those who do not smoke or do anything, but I’m still against it. They need to get do what they want after the service of our country. ” Gallup said the notice was sent to residents recently, sulfur center, alerting them to upcoming policy changes described in the order in Fallin.
“They never said they should leave,” she said. Willie White said that the transition from the sulfur center, as well, although he did not share his particular exit strategy. “I like to live here, but I think we just have to move,” he said. “I thought I would die here, but I will not stay if I had to leave. I feel that they are trying to take away their rights after I served my country and I do not think that’s right.”
The reasons for the order
Weintz said the governor’s motivation for issuing the order was not to displace hundreds of veterans. He said tobacco is the leading cause of premature death in Oklahoma, cost the state huge chunks of money every year. “This is one of the leading factors in the increasing cost of health insurance and medical care, which hurts families and the economy,” said Weintz. “In addition, each taxpayer is $ 550 each year to pay for tobacco disease in Oklahoma.”
Weintz said the money would be better used on schools, public safety or infrastructure improvements, rather than cure “to completely prevent diseases associated with smoking.” “The prohibition of tobacco use on public property is an inconvenience for smokers,” he said. “It’s an inconvenience, however, is small compared with the thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars that could be saved if fewer Oklahomans decided to smoke or use tobacco products.” But the 69-year-old Paul Kepley, the governor does not mean motives. Kepley, who also lives in the heart of sulfur, said he was not interested in looking at his health in the long term, at least at this point in his life.
“I started smoking when I was young, and I tried to quit many times over the years … this is one of the most difficult things you can do,” said Kepley. “So, I think it’s good for us to be able to enter into our little room for smokers, or smoking, and left alone. “I do not think it’s too much to ask.”