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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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For Immediate Release: February 14, 2008

Sen. David Myers
Sen. David Myers

Senate Business and Labor Committee Set to Hear Legislation Expanding Smoking Ban

With the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and the American Cancer Society supporting a proposal to lift exemptions on public smoking bans, State Sen. David Myers is hopeful Senate Bill 1875 will receive a favorable hearing when it is considered by the Business and Labor Committee on Monday.

“The facts are simple. Tobacco is Oklahoma’s leading cause of preventable death,” said Myers, R-Ponca City. “Every year, 5,800 Oklahomans die because of tobacco, and secondhand smoke exposure kills another 700 of our citizens. Too many people are dying because of smoke and secondhand smoke.”

Myers said SB 1875 would help prevent many of those deaths by removing all current exemptions regarding smoking in public places, including “stand-alone” bars. Although current law allows for specific smoking locations in restaurants, the entire establishment would be smoke-free under this legislation.

“Maybe the patrons have the opportunity to decide whether or not to go to a bar that has smoking, but the employees have no choice. Every year, thousands of Oklahoma waitresses, musicians and other employees are being exposed to deadly secondhand smoke, and they simply may not have any other employment options,” Myers said.

Myers noted that the economic toll on the state because of tobacco related illnesses was staggering, costing Oklahomans over $2.7 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity.

“Twenty-seven other states already have such bans in place. These bans have not hurt business, but they are protecting the lives of millions of citizens. That’s what we should be doing in Oklahoma.”

The legislation goes before the Senate Business and Labor Committee at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, February 18, in room 511-A of the State Capitol. For streaming video of the meeting, go to www.oksenate.gov.

For more information contact:
Senator Myers' Office: (405) 521-5628

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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