Oklahoma lawmakers tackle smoke-free issue

| 3/13/2003

In an effort to curb smoking in public, Oklahoma state lawmakers are pushing legislation in the House and Senate that would keep smokers from lighting up, according to local media.

One of the measures, written by Senate leader Cal Hobson, D-Lexington, would eliminate smoking in restaurants and most other public places.

Under SJR21, the Legislature can enact the measure without being required to send the issue before the public in a general election, The Oklahoman reported.

Public places where smoking is banned are defined in the resolution as “any enclosed indoor area where individuals other than employees are invited or permitted.”

It permits smoking in standalone bars and in cigar bars.

SB566, written by Sen. Ben Robinson, D-Muskogee, also restricts smoking in public places.

HJR1011, written by Rep. Ray Vaughn, R-Edmond, calls for a statewide election on a constitutional amendment to restrict smoking. It also would ban smoking in most indoor areas.

Exceptions would include “stand-alone” bars and taverns, private clubs, retail tobacco stores and private offices occupied exclusively by smokers.