Status of Oklahoma's smoking lawsuits

Thursday, July 25th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- The state Department of Health has lost another legal battle in its fight to implement tough new rules on public smoking.

The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court decision Wednesday that kept the dispute in state court.

The Health Department's attorney, Gary Gardenhire, says the agency won't appeal the decision. Gardenhire says a lawsuit by the American Lung Association that's in federal court in Tulsa may keep the dispute in federal court.

A state judge in Sapulpa yesterday barred the department from enforcing smoking new regulations at restaurants. The department plans to appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.