Rules for Arkansas Smoking Ban Go into Effect Week After Law Goes on Books

JULY 6, 2006 - Posted at 3:56 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The rules governing Arkansas' workplace smoking ban won't be approved until nearly a week after the prohibition becomes law on July 21.

State health officer and director of health Paul Halverson says the board is to vote on July 27 on the rules.

Several lawmakers say they are concerned that the state's smoking ban will hurt businesses, particularly with its regulation that any business that allows anyone under the age of 21 must comply with the law.

Halverson says state health officials will still take complaints of businesses that are in violation of the law.  Criminal penalties for the ban will be in effect July 21.  However, Halverson says the agency will first work with businesses to make sure they understand the rule change.

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