A bill that proposed a radical change to Arkansas’ Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 has been defeated, having been rejected on Thursday by the House Public Health Committee on Thursday without debate.
H.B. 1696 was introduced last week by Rep. Justin Gonzalez, R-Okolona, with Sen. Blake Johnson, R-Corning, signing on as a co-sponsor. It effectively sought to make compliance with the smoking ban voluntary by privately owned businesses.
The bill wouldn’t have had an effect on cigar stores, as they already had an exemption from the ban. However, it would have opened up the door for business owners to allow smoking in nearly every other form of privately owned company.