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For Release: April 19, 2010 
Contact: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
(405) 271-5601

                                   
Media Advisory

EVENT: Meeting of the Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee

GUEST SPEAKERS:   Rep. Kris Steele, House Speaker Pro Tempore, Connie Befort, Co-Chair, Oklahoma Alliance on Health or Tobacco,  Bob Miner, Clean Indoor Air Coordinator, Oklahoma State Department of Health

WHEN: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 3 p.m.

WHERE:  Oklahoma State Capitol Governor’s Large Conference Room, 2nd Floor

BACKGROUND:  Rep. Kris Steele is the House author of HB2774 and SB1818.

HB2774 authorizes the Oklahoma State Department of Health to implement a rebate program to reimburse restaurant owners for a portion of the expenses incurred in complying with the statutory requirements for a designated smoking room if the restaurant converts to a completely smoke free environment.

SB1818 creates the Oklahoma Certified Healthy Communities Act. The bill directs the Oklahoma State Department of Health to maintain a program for the voluntary certification of communities that promote wellness, encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors and establish safe and supportive environments.

Connie Befort, Co-Chair of the Oklahoma Alliance on Health or Tobacco, will provide a legislative update on tobacco-related policy issues.

Bob Miner of the Tobacco Use Prevention Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health will present the latest scientific findings on the relationship between exposure to secondhand smoke and cardiovascular disease.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee was created in 2001 by the Oklahoma State Legislature. The committee is charged with periodically reviewing progress towards meeting the objectives of the State Plan for Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation.

The State Plan calls for reducing the harms caused by tobacco use in Oklahoma through the implementation of evidence-based initiatives, including eliminating smoking in all indoor public places and workplaces. Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa are among the 29 states nationwide that have now enacted smoke free workplace laws to include all restaurants and bars.

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