Smoke free policies in multi-housing units have the ability to protect residents while saving the property owners money. When a resident smokes within their unit, there is no way to prevent secondhand smoke from spreading to the neighboring units through shared vents, ducts, and cracks. Secondhand smoke exposure from those smoking units can cause health problems among the non-smoking residents, especially if they have a chronic disease like asthma, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoke-free policies can reduce apartment turn over costs, reduce the risk of fire, and potentially reduce insurance costs.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): HUD proposed a ban on smoking in all public housing properties in November of 2015. The proposed rule could ban all lit tobacco products in any living units, common indoor areas, administrative areas, and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings.
Smoke Free Vehicles
Arkansas was the first state in the nation to pass a law protecting children from secondhand smoke in vehicles. The first legislation, Act 13, passed in 2006 protecting children under the age of six and weighing less than 60 pounds while riding in cars. That law was updated in 2011 with Act 811 stating that it was illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 14. California, Louisiana, Maine, and Puerto Rico soon followed Arkansas’s lead and passed similar laws.
During the 88th General Assembly, Senator Percy Malone filed a bill to increase the age of protection for the law to age 14. After passing the Arkansas Senate and House of Representatives, Governor Mike Beebe signed the bill into law on March 30, 2011. The new law, called Act 811. Violating Act 811 is a primary offense, meaning drivers can be pulled over and ticketed if seen smoking in a vehicle with a child under the age of 14. Violators must pay a $25 fine, unless they can prove enrollment in a program to quit smoking on their first offense. To learn more about Act 811, click here.
Arkansas took a major step forward in protecting students, employees, and visitors at state-supported institutions of higher education from secondhand smoke when Act 734 of 2009 passed. The 2009 Act prohibits smoking on the campuses of state funded colleges, universities, and technical schools. Act 847 passed in 2015 to prohibit the use of electronic smoking devices on state funded campuses. Act 847 strengthens the state law passed in 2009.
Nursing and Rehabilitation Facilities
Nursing and rehabilitation facilities are considered to be residential facilities and, therefore, are not covered by the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006. Due to this provision, short-term patients, long-term residents, and staff in these facilities were not protected from exposure to secondhand smoke. Act 708 of 2015, was signed into law to limit smoking in long-term care facilities and update the 2006 law. The 2015 act also clarifies the definitions and language of the Clean Indoor Air Act to include long-term care facilities as smoke free entities. Electronic smoking devices like e-cigarettes and vape pens are still not covered under any state law dealing with long-term care facilities.
Parks and Recreation
The only state laws banning smoking in state parks are those banning smoking in indoor facilities covered by the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006. Many cities and counties have passed city and county-wide policies for their parks and recreation sites. These policies/ordinances prohibit smoking in outdoor areas as well.
Current Parks Policies Include:
- Caddo Valley
- Lake City
- Valley Springs City Park
- Conway Farmers Market
- Batesville Cemeteries and Parks
- Harrison City Park
- Sebastian County Parks
- St. Joe’s Park
Secondhand smoke is harmful to everyone and everyone should be protected from it. It's only fair that hospitality workers like wait staff and bartenders should have the same level of protection as office workers.
In 2006, the State of Arkansas passed a law known as the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006, during a Special Session of the State Legislature. While the law protects much of the workforce across the state, it is not a comprehensive law, meaning not all workers are protected. Every worker deserves to work in an environment that is healthy and free from secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is a known health risk. Employees who work in smoking facilities are at a higher risk of developing the following diseases: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
- Smokers are 33% more likely to miss work than nonsmokers
- Smoking related productivity loss costs Arkansas $1.7 billion every year
- Health care costs in Arkansas directly related to smoking cost $1.21 billion every year
Smoke Free Policies:
- Lower insurance premiums
- Lower labor costs
- Reduce legal liability
- Lower maintenance costs
- Increase productivity
- Improve morale
Comprehensive smoke-free laws are the only effective way to protect everyone's right to breathe clean air.
Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006
The Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 does not protect all workers from the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Exemptions to the Clean Indoor Air Act (2006):
- Private residences, except when used as a licensed child care, adult daycare, or health care facility
- Hotel and motel rooms that are rented to guests and are designated as smoking rooms.
- if a hotel or motel has more than twenty-five (25) guest rooms, not more than twenty percent (20%) of rooms rented to guests in a hotel or motel may be designated as exempt
- All workplaces of any employer with fewer than three (3) employees.
- This exemption does not apply to any public place
- A retail tobacco store, if secondhand smoke from the store does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited under this
- Areas within long-term care facilities that are designated by the facility as a smoking area or for supervised patient smoking only
- Outdoor areas of places of employment
- All workplaces of any manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler of tobacco products, of any tobacco leaf dealer or processor, and all tobacco storage facilities
- All restaurants and bars licensed by the State of Arkansas that prohibit at all times all persons less than twenty-one (21)
What is prohibited by the Clean Indoor Air Act (2006)?
- All vehicles and enclosed areas owned, leased, or operated by the State of Arkansas,
- its agencies and authorities, and
- any political subdivision of the state, municipal corporation, or local board or
- any authority created by general, local, or special act of the General Assembly or by ordinance or resolution of the governing body of a county or municipal corporation individually or jointly with other political subdivisions or municipalities of the state.
- All public places and enclosed areas within places of employment, including, but not limited to
- Common work areas
- Conference and meeting rooms
- Private offices
- Health care facilities
- Employee lounges
- All other enclosed areas