Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 14, 2008
Sen. David Myers
Senate Business and Labor Committee Set to Hear Legislation Expanding
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 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
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