Last year, Oklahoma’s governor signed into law a bill that got rid of fines for people under the age of 21-years-old caught buying tobacco. Instead, those who violated the state’s Tobacco 21 ordinance are instructed to take a tobacco education program. Earlier this week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed H.B. 2165, which would reintroduce fines for those caught violating the law.

The new language isn’t simply restoring what was removed as the cost of the fines will change. If passed, the new punishment structure would still call for someone to take a tobacco education program. If they did not complete the program, they could be fined $50 for the first offense and $100 for any subsequent offense(s). Previously, those amounts were $100 and $200 respectively, and there was the risk that a person could have their driver’s license suspended. There’s no language in H.B. 2165 regarding suspended driver’s licenses, though the new bill would allow for a court to order someone to complete community service.

In addition to restoring fines as a form of punishment, H.B. 2165 would also restore the ability of local cities and municipalities to issue their own punishments, something that was removed last year.

H.B. 2165 passed the Oklahoma House by a vote of 71-16 with 14 members abstaining. It now moves to the Oklahoma Senate.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.