Oklahoma City’s EMBARK announced its properties will be tobacco-free beginning in August. The policy includes all tobacco products: cigarettes, vaping or e-cigarette devices and chewing tobacco. Tobacco will be prohibited at all of EMBARK’s transit stops, shelters, parking facilities, ferry landings, transit facilities and vehicles.
"We are committed to health — for our employees, our customers and our community,” says Jason Ferbrache, EMBARK administrator. “We realize that some of our employees and riders will need help to reduce and hopefully quit using tobacco products, so we’ve partnered with several organizations to offer additional resources and help.”
EMBARK is hosting a free, public health fair on Friday. By partnering with the State Health Department, the City County Health Department, Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) and other healthcare providers, employees and riders can gain access to free tools to help quit tobacco. TSET offers free text and email support, phone and web coaching, patches, gum or lozenges and more.
“The COTPA Board is upholding a healthy standard set by the City of Oklahoma City earlier this year when all of our facilities went tobacco free,” says Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch. “The annual healthcare costs directly related to the health effects of smoking amount to $1.62 billion in Oklahoma. Our success in stopping unnecessary suffering, illness and disease due to tobacco is tied to effective policy and programs. Eliminating tobacco in the workplace and protecting others from secondhand smoke are key to a healthier community.”