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For Release:   April 22, 2008

Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Media Advisory

Event:  Meeting of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee - TODAY

Date/Time:  Tuesday, April 22, 2008,  3:00 p.m.
Location:   Governor’s Large Conference Room - Oklahoma State Capitol, 2nd Floor

Speakers:  Senator David Myers (R-Ponca City), Representative Doug Cox (R-Grove), Wes Glinsmann, Oklahoma Alliance on Health or Tobacco

Background:  The Oklahoma Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee was created by statute in 2001 and is charged with periodically reviewing progress towards meeting the objectives of the State Plan for Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation. The committee is chaired by Commissioner of Health Dr. Mike Crutcher.

Each of the speakers at this meeting will provide updates on continuing efforts to accomplish key changes in laws related to tobacco at the state and federal level. Specifically, the major tobacco policy issues to be discussed include: 

•  Removing current exemptions in state smoking laws to protect all Oklahomans from exposure to secondhand smoke in the workplace. Nebraska and Iowa have recently joined the growing list of (24) states that have enacted smokefree workplace laws to include all bars and taverns.

•  Prohibiting tobacco companies from using the personal electronic information embedded within state drivers’ licenses to market tobacco products. This measure, actively fought by tobacco lobbyists, would address the growing practice of addicting new, “replacement smokers” through direct mail promotions and giveaways targeting young adults.

•  Legislation now advancing through Congress to grant the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products. This legislation has been endorsed by all major national public health groups and is sponsored by a majority of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, with 218 House sponsors and 56 Senate sponsors. 

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