Clubs & Bars Smoking Laws
Smoking in clubs and bars may be legal in the state, but it’s also lethal. In Oklahoma, secondhand smoke kills an estimated 700 nonsmokers each year. It causes heart disease, respiratory diseases, cancer and countless other illnesses. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of toxic chemicals, including 70 that cause cancer. At bars and clubs, where numerous people are smoking in the same vicinity, these contaminants amplify, making for an even more toxic environment. In fact, studies have shown that the air in a smoky bar is 2.5 times more polluted than the air on a major highway or busy city street.
Oklahoma is one of the only states without 100% smokefree laws in restaurants and bars.
Oklahoma smoking laws prohibit smoking at most indoor places open to the public. However, several places are exempt from this rule, including bars and clubs.
In Oklahoma, smoking in bars is still permitted, as long as the establishments are stand-alone bars, stand-alone taverns or cigar bars. These places must receive at least 60% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcohol and low-point beer. Also, they must not admit persons under 21 years old (except hired musicians), and they cannot be located within or share an entrance or common indoor area with another indoor workplace, such as a restaurant.
The benefits of a smokefree bar or club are clear. A smokefree bar rids the air of secondhand smoke, protecting the health of both patrons and employees. Plus, it lowers costs for maintenance and cleaning too.
Some bar and club owners may fear lost income or business from becoming smokefree. However, using sales tax data and other objective criteria, numerous studies have found no adverse effects from smoking restrictions. There has even been a tendency for smokefree mandates to increase business.
Find a Smokefree Bar or Club
Free the Night is a statewide Oklahoma campaign that encourages bars and clubs to voluntarily adopt smokefree policies. You can even use their site to find smokefree bars and clubs around you. Learn more about Free the Night here.