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News Summary

Proposed statewide smoking ban fails

Publication Date: 4/13/2005
  • Author:Adam Wallworth
  • Publication:Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A last-ditch effort to pass a statewide ban on tobacco smoke in restaurants has been given up, but the sponsor of the proposed bill is ready to continue his support of the cause. "I was 11 votes short and have been trying to work in the rest but can’t get more than three or four. So at this point in time, it doesn’t look like it’ll get out of the house," said Rep. Jay Bradford, DWhite Hall, about HB 1883, which failed in the house April 4 by a vote of 41-48.

Bradford’s bill, which he renamed the Dr. Fay Boozman Clean Air in Restaurants for a Healthier Arkansas Act, would have prohibited tobacco smoke in restaurants statewide.

The late Boozman had supported the bill and was involved in previous attempts to ban tobacco smoke statewide. With the failure of the bill, Fayetteville is left as the only major Arkansas city to have a ban on indoor tobacco smoke, though cities such as Pine Bluff and Little Rock are still pursuing similar bans. "That’s the situation," Bradford said. "It’s not good news, but at least it’s the first time it’s ever been out of committee and on the floor, and at least we made a little progress."