- Current Laws/Regulations
- Secondhand Smoke
- Breathe Easy Decals
- Multiunit Housing
Frequently Asked Questions about Secondhand Smoke Laws
How are 12-Step groups affected by Oklahoma’s laws on smoking in public places and indoor workplaces?
Many people have inquired regarding smoking at meetings of 12-step groups such as alcoholics anonymous group meetings. The situations vary, but these general principles apply under the state laws that became effective September 1, 2003.
Many meetings of these groups have been identified in the past as smoking or nonsmoking groups. However, unless these meetings occur in places exempted from the new laws, smoking can no longer be allowed.
Are bars exempt?
The laws exempt “stand-alone bars, stand-alone taverns” and “cigar bars.” To qualify, these places must derive at least 60% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcohol and low-point beer, they must not admit persons under age 21 (except hired musicians), and they cannot be located within or share an entrance or common indoor area with another indoor workplace such as a restaurant.
How are bowling alleys affected?
Bowling alleys, like most other businesses that are open to or used by the public, must be smokefree. Bowling alleys are not exempted under the new laws, even if they serve food or beverage.
What about convenience stores?
Convenience stores are not exempt. They are indoor places that are required to be smokefree. Though some have seating, their food service operations are incidental to other business activity.
How are city, county and state buildings affected?
State, county and city buildings are required to be smokefree, and no smoking is permitted within 25 feet outside any entrance or exit. Only one smoking room may be permitted in any of these buildings. It must be separately ventilated, and no public business can be done in this room.
Are any places required to have smoking rooms?
No. No places are required to permit smoking, and any place is free to be entirely smokefree if it chooses.
Can a resident smoke in a nursing home?
This is addressed already in state law and in regulations that will continue in effect. Some nursing homes choose to be all smokefree. However, a nursing home may choose to provide an indoor smoking room for residents and guests, but such rooms must be enclosed and separately ventilated to protect nonsmoking areas. The new laws clarify these smoking room requirements and reinforce existing requirements.
What is the responsibility of the owner or manager of a place with nonsmoking areas?
In addition to adopting an appropriate smoking policy and posting signs at entrances, under the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act, the person in charge must ask a smoker in a nonsmoking area to refrain from smoking whenever such a violation of the smoking policy is observed.
Can smoking be permitted in a private office?
Yes, provided there is only incidental public access to the individual office. This does not include businesses that depend on walk-in customers for any part of their business. All occupants of the office must be smokers, and the space must be fully enclosed, separately ventilated and under negative air pressure to keep smoke from nonsmoking areas.
How are buses and taxis affected?
As providers of public transportation, they are to be smokefree.
How does the Smoking in Public Places and Indoor Workplaces Act affect clubhouses and meeting rooms in residential complexes?
Clubhouses, offices of residential complexes or property owners’ associations, meeting rooms, sales offices, etc. are not a part of the “private residence” space that is exempted from these laws. As workplaces and/or public places, as these terms are used in these laws, these areas are to be nonsmoking.
How are restaurants affected?
Restaurants may elect to be either all smokefree or—if they elect to permit smoking in some areas—to provide enclosed and separately ventilated smoking rooms that meet the laws’ requirements for protecting nonsmoking areas. Restaurants will be permitted to serve food and beverage in their smoking rooms, and the new laws consider all sizes of restaurants the same, regardless of seating capacity. The laws also specify that smoking may be permitted in outdoor dining areas of restaurants, but not within 15 feet of any exterior public doorway or air intake.