All Local Restaurants Will Soon be Smoke-Free

June 24, 2006 -- 5:45 PM CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- The option to sit in smoking or nonsmoking sections in restaurants across the state of Arkansas will soon come to an end.

That decision was made in April when the Clean Indoor Air Act was passed.

Whit Herndon is the manager of Sheffield's restaurant, and he said he's not worried about making the transition.

"We're not an establishment that's going to have to make a rash decision," he said.

The big day for restaurants to become smoke-free is July 21, but Sheffield's is one step ahead because the restaurant is already smoke-free.

"I think about four years...maybe five years, we've been a nonsmoking establishment," said Herndon.

Even though the new law doesn't affect Sheffeild's, Herndon said that other local restaraunts that aren't smoke-free will face a big challenge.

"The restaurants in this town are going to have to make a big decision, and it's going to affect their clientele one way or another," he said.

If restaurants and bars in Arkansas choose not to be smoke-free, they do have another option, but it may come with a cost.  They'd have to serve only to those who are 21 years of age and older.

"As far as being a strictly know, having strictly adult patrons, that's out of the question for Sheffield's," said Herndon.

Smoking will soon be gone in a puff for restaurants accross the state.