Businesses Call for Clarity on Arkansas Smoking Ban Regulations

JUNE 1, 2006 - Posted at 7:31 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Businesses are calling for clear rules about the new workplace smoking ban in Arkansas.

The state department of health & human services is working out regulations for the ban, which takes effect July 21.  The state legislature passed the ban in April's special session.

At a public hearing yesterday, Andrea Woods of the Arkansas Society for Human Resource Management said that if regulations are vague, they could cause many confrontations between management and employees.

Other questions came up at the meeting.  Joe Rantisi, general manager of the Capital Hotel in downtown Little Rock, said he understood that 20 percent of rooms could be rented to smokers.  But he said he wasn't sure what ventilation requirements would be required in smoking rooms.

State officials say they'll consider all comments as they draft the regulations.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)