Kitzhaber bans smoking on state office grounds

Kitzhaber bans smoking on state office grounds
FILE - Gov. John Kitzhaber (AP Photo/Don Ryan, file)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Gov. John Kitzhaber is making life tougher on state workers who smoke.

Kitzhaber signed an executive order Thursday banning tobacco use on all property surrounding state offices. It's already illegal to smoke inside most Oregon workplaces, including private jobsites.

The governor says tobacco use by state workers costs taxpayers millions in higher health care costs. And he says he wants to protect employees, clients and visitors from exposure to second-hand smoke.

The ban doesn't apply to college campuses or to places meant for the public, like state parks. But Kitzhaber is asking various governing boards to ban or restrict tobacco in those places, too.

The order takes effect at most state worksites by the middle of next year, although prisons will have until the end of 2014.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.