ARDMORE, Okla. -- An Oklahoma State Senate Committee has signed off on a proposal that bans smoking in bars and restaurants. Bar owners we spoke with say if the bill goes into law, it would kill their business, and as Teddy Safo reports, restaurant owners say the current law is fine the way it is.
The state proposal to prohibit smoking in bars and restaurants does not sit too well with Ardmore business owner Buddy Simon. Not long ago, Simon spent several thousands of dollars to build a state approved smoking area for his patrons who do smoke.
"I don’t know how much, how fair it is, but I know there’s obviously not going to be a check coming to us to rebate us for becoming compliant for our last law," Simon, who owns Budro’s Restaurant, says.
In 2003, Oklahoma lawmakers banned smoking in most places, but they did make some exceptions. For instance, smoking is still legal in facilities with a designated smoking area. Simon thinks the newest proposal could have a negative effect on his business.
"Although the people who do consume cigarettes and tobacco products will probably have a problem with it, and it lessens our ability to raise an honest dollar."
Patrons like Barbara Meadows say they do not agree with the proposed legislation either.
"It’s totally ridiculous. Even smokers have rights. I dint see why another person should tell another person what to do," Meadows says.
Both Simon and Meadows say this proposal is unnecessary.
"I think it’s good enough the way it is. We take care of all our clientele. We have people who come to our non-smoking area and people to our smoking area," Simon says.