Smoking Ban on Hospital Grounds Now in Effect

October 1,2005-Posted at 9:40 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK,AR (AP) _  A new state law that bans smoking at all hospitals and hospital grounds in Arkansas has taken effect.

The legislation that became effective today was sponsored by Representative Jay Bradford of White Hall when it was approved by the legislature this year. Previously, Arkansas hospitals could ban smoking and many did, but some were reluctant to impose a total ban because of lenient policies at neighboring facilities.

Supporters of the legislation said even at hospitals that banned smoking from their buildings and grounds, smokers often ignored posted signs. Now it is illegal and repeat violators can be reported to local law enforcement.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)