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Arkansas Bill Seeking Smoking Ban Exemptions for Private Businesses Defeated

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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.

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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.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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