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TSET Board Approves Resolutions Supporting Policies to Improve Health in Oklahoma

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Resolutions encourage public policy to reduce obesity and youth access to tobacco, increase access to cancer screenings, and ensure prudent investment of funds

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 23, 2023) – The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Board of Directors unanimously adopted four policy resolutions on Wednesday during their August meeting.

The resolutions express support of local and statewide policies that would decrease obesity, reduce youth access to tobacco and vaping products, expand access to lifesaving cancer screening programs and ensure prudent investment of funds in the TSET endowment.

The resolutions outline specific steps that state and local leaders can take to pass polices that complement TSET’s work and improve health outcomes for Oklahomans.

“Reducing the causes and impact of cancer in Oklahoma is core to TSET’s mission,” said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee. “Policy change at the state and local level are one of the most cost effective ways to improve outcomes for all Oklahomans.”

The TSET board called on state and local leaders to embrace policies that reduce obesity by encouraging active lifestyles, promoting healthy food choices and supporting programs that teach wellness and healthy behaviors. Obesity is linked to poor health outcomes and chronic diseases, including gallbladder and liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer.

The board recommended repealing the state sales tax on healthy foods, supporting farmers markets and funding active transportation methods like sidewalks and bike lanes, among other policies.

In another resolution, the TSET board called for the adoption of local and statewide policies and strategies to strengthen retailer compliance on tobacco policies, including increased compliance checks and higher fines for businesses that sell to underage individuals.

The board also expressed support for proactive efforts that increase training for retailers, education for youth and the public, and signage on the prohibition of tobacco sales to minors.

“Compliance checks show that more than 1 in 5 retailers is illegally selling tobacco products to minors,” said Board Chair Marshall Snipes. “We need to update our laws to close this gap and protect our youth.”

The cancer screening resolution encouraged the state to adopt policies to increase access to cancer screenings. The action followed the board’s approval earlier this year of $1.7 million in funding for the OU Stephenson Cancer Center to develop a mobile lung cancer screening bus. TSET is focused on lowering Oklahoma’s cancer mortality rate, which currently is seventh highest in the nation. Early cancer detection through increased screening would reduce cancer deaths in the state.

A fourth resolution expresses support for the autonomy of the TSET Board of Investors to make the investment decisions they feel are in the best interest of the fund. Under the constitutional amendment approved by Oklahoma voters, only the TSET Board of Investors, is allowed to oversee and direct investment decisions.


The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, cultivating innovative and life-changing research and working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. To learn more, go to

Last Modified on Aug 24, 2023
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