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Media Advisory 

For Release:  June 26, 2008
Contact:         Pamela Williams
                        Office of Communications
                        405/271-5601

Oklahoma Lags Behind in Protecting Nonsmokers from Secondhand Smoke - TODAY

WHAT:  News Conference update on progress nationally and in Oklahoma with respect to smokefree laws. The speaker will discuss how Oklahoma lags behind other states in protecting non-smokers from secondhand smoke.

 WHO:   Cynthia Hallett, MPH, Executive Director, American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation,

Representatives of Oklahoma Alliance on Health or Tobacco;

Wes Glinsmann, Chair, American Heart Association
Pat Marshall, American Cancer Society

Representative of Oklahoma State Department of Health
Bob Miner, Clean Indoor Air Coordinator

WHEN:           Thursday, June 26, 2008
                        10:00 a.m.                   

WHERE:         State Capitol, Room 432B, the Broadcast Press Room

BACKGROUND:  Oklahoma strengthened its smoking laws five years ago but left several exemptions that allow smoking throughout some workplaces, public places and in parts of others. These exemptions allow exposure of nonsmokers to secondhand smoke, causing illnesses and premature deaths. They also decrease incentives for smokers to quit and encourage children to smoke. In the meantime, many other states have taken much stronger action to address this public health problem. Where does Oklahoma stand now? What can be done?  For background information on Oklahoma smoking laws see web site: http://www.breatheeasyok.com/.

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