AltTulsa likes to keep an eye on public health statistics, many of which provide a snapshot of the state's health concerns.
As nonsmokers, we have long been sensitive to the many Sooner state smokers out there (cough, cough). We can even recall a visit to one of the old Indian bingo parlors (remember those?) where the smoke was a blanket of gray haze as thick as the San Francisco fog.
So imagine our surprise to learn that Oklahoma's ex-smokers now outnumber the smokers. As reported in the Tulsa World, smoking rates in the Sooner state have reached an all-time low of 23.7 percent.
State Health Commissioner Terry Cline said the change is historic. He cited state anti-smoking programs as part of the reason for the declining number of smokers.
We take Cline's word for this bit of good news. After all, as the World notes, "Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Oklahoma and the nation."