Health Officials to Monitor Benefit of Arkansas Smoking Ban

JULY 11, 2006 - Posted at 7:48 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A law banning smoking in most Arkansas workplaces takes effect July 21.  Arkansas health officials say they hope to see the health benefits within the next six months.

The state has begun airing radio and television ads in advance of the ban.  Jennifer Dillaha of the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services says health officials plan to monitor hospital admissions for hospital-related illnesses to study whether the ban has any immediate impact.

But state health officer Paul Halverson says it may take longer for the state to see any noticeable health benefits from the ban.

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