Deadline nears for restaurant smoking ban in Oklahoma

Sunday, February 12th 2006, 12:25 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A March 1st deadline looms for Oklahoma restaurants to comply with the state's smoking ban.

As of that date, state restaurants must either prohibit smoking or limit it to an enclosed, separately ventilated room. Restaurants that don't comply with the law could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined from $10 to $100 plus court costs.

State health officials praise the law. They say about 700 Oklahomans die every year from exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco companies dispute such numbers and say that negatives tied to the effects of secondhand smoke are unfounded.