|Updated: 2/19 10:02 am
||Published: 2/18 11:04 pm
The Oklahoma Senate Panel snuffed out an effort to change the states smoking law on Monday.
The bill would have allowed local governments to adopt stricter smoking ordinances than state law.
Local business owners in Green Country tell FOX23 that they are directly affected by the decision.
Jeff Castleberry is the owner of Caz’s Pub and Caz’s Chowhouse, which are both located in the Brady District. The business owner has a unique point of view on the issue because it impacts both of his venues differently.
“Our restaurant is ‘non-smoking’ and has always been that way because it was mandated by the state,” said Castleberry, “But we have a pub across the street that is ‘smoking’ and it has been ‘smoking’ since we opened it 17 plus years ago.”
Castleberry says he had ventilation systems installed in the pub a decade ago to help reduce the smoke. Lighting up a cigarette doesn’t seem to be an issue for patrons, however.
“We’ve debated on whether to remain smoking or not but we’ve seen our sales go up every year so for us, maybe it’s a niche market for our area,” said Castleberry.
Despite sales, Castleberry says he would be compliant and happy to follow whatever changes the customers or the state require in the future.
“For our customers we are happy to stay as we are but if the law were to pass or if it were up to the municipalities to make that decision we would be fine with whatever the chose to do,” said Castleberry.
Member of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Pat Marshall, tells FOX23 she was disappointed that the measure failed on Monday.
“It was just a very sad day for the health of Oklahomans,” said Marshall. She says Oklahoma needs to follow the lead of other states and allow Oklahomans to pass ordinances in their own city.
“This is about the health of our workers,” said Marshall, “We need to find ways to protect them from second hand smoke and cities should have the right to have the discussion.”
Governor Mary Fallin will be joined by community leaders and medical professionals at the state capitol on Tuesday to announce a plan to reduce smoking-related deaths and ways to combat second-hand smoke in Oklahoma.