HB2119 - (workplaces, restaurants, bars, gaming facilities) - An Act to Prohibit Smoking in All Public Places - Session Adjourned
This bill amends the Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act to expand smokefree protections to cover all public places, restaurants, bars, and gaming facilities, and presumably workplaces. This is done by removing the reference to “enclosed” in the definition of “public place” so that smoking is prohibited in all public places regardless of whether they are enclosed. The bill also removes the language prohibiting smoking in places of employment, presumably intending for workplace protections to fall under the scope of “public places.” The bill also eliminates the current exemptions section, which includes exemptions for hotels/motels, workplaces with three or fewer employees, retail tobacco stores, long-term care facilities, outdoor places of employment, tobacco manufacturers/wholesalers/distributors, restaurants and bars that prohibit people less than 21 years old, and smoking areas on gaming floors. There is concern that this bill is a placeholder for weakening the Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act or introducing preemption.