Anti-smoking legislation moves forward in the Oklahoma legislature

Wednesday, April 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Two bills that further restrict smoking in public places have passed the Oklahoma House.

Under Senate Joint Resolution 21, possession of lighted tobacco in any form is declared a public nuisance dangerous to the public health. It would outlaw smoking in any place used by or open to the public, with a few exceptions, including stand-alone bars where no food is served and cigar bars.

It would prohibit smoking in almost all indoor places of employment, including all restaurants.

Senate Bill 566 is less restrictive and would allow smoking in bowling alleys and taverns that are devoted predominantly or totally to serving alcohol or low-point beer.

Other exemptions include workplaces occupied solely by the proprietor or family members or by smokers and where public access is incidental.

House Speaker Larry Adair says smoking legislation will be placed in a joint conference committee so lawmakers can reach a compromise in addressing concerns about businesses and health risks.