Students Make Trustees aware of Tobacco issues

The CounterAct Tobacco Hennessey team recently addressed the town trustees regarding the issue of tobacco regulation in Oklahoma. Currently, our state is one of just five that still maintain preemption, which limits local authority in areas such as licensure, smoke-free indoor air, and youth access to tobacco products.

During a recent town board meeting on December 14th, two Hennessey students, Abigail Holsten and Addison Null-Kelly, along with campaign manager Aisha Ensley, highlighted the absence of an ordinance against e-cigarettes in the town. The board, previously unaware of this fact, attentively listened to their presentation. CounterAct Tobacco, a youth-driven program advocating for a tobacco-free future, is extending its efforts throughout Oklahoma.

Presently, Oklahoma lacks retail licensure for e-cigarettes, vapes, and nicotine-only products. With only a sales tax permit required, the whereabouts of these products and their sale locations remain unknown. The absence of regulation for retailers may result in increased accessibility of tobacco products among youth.

The board of trustees expressed their gratitude to the team for their presentation and for bringing the issue to their attention. However, as it was not on the agenda, no immediate action could be taken.