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FOR RELEASE: April 2, 2002
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Governor's Action a Positive Step for Health

State Health Commissioner Dr. Leslie Beitsch applauded Gov. Keating's approval today of five rules dealing with smoking at health care facilities.

"This is an important step forward as we work with the governor and the legislature to eliminate the public's involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke," Beitsch said.

The governor did not approve rules that prohibited smoking at adult day care centers and birthing centers. He said those rules conflicted directly with the state statute allowing health facilities to designate smoking and nonsmoking areas within a facility, an option not provided in the rules for adult day care centers and birthing centers. The other five rules complied with state law by allowing optional indoor smoking areas that are separately ventilated from the rest of the facility.

"I am certain the State Board of Health will reexamine these two rules and work to bring them into compliance with the law," Beitsch said. "We appreciate the governor's consideration and support toward reducing the serious health risks of secondhand smoke."

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