Smoking Regulations in Arkansas


 Chapter 27, Subchapter 18 of the Arkansas Code of 1987 is known as “The Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006”.[i]  It prohibits tobacco usage in certain public areas, buildings, and facilities in an effective approach to reduce secondhand smoke exposure among nonsmokers and thereby seeks to protect the rights of Arkansans.[ii]
Title 20, Subchapter 19 of the Arkansas Code is known as the “Arkansas Protection from Secondhand Smoke for Children Act of 2006.”[iii]  The Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 and the Arkansas Protection from Secondhand Smoke for Children Act of 2006 regulate the laws relating to smoking in Arkansas.  The Code of Arkansas Rules and Regulations also contains the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act Of 2006.  This regulation lays down the rules that are necessary to implement the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 and protect the health of the citizens of Arkansas by minimizing the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.[iv]

The laws of Arkansas prohibits smoking in all vehicles and enclosed areas owned, leased, or operated by the state, its agencies and authorities.  Smoking is also prohibited in all public places and enclosed areas within places of employment, including common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, health care facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms as well as all other enclosed areas.

An individual, person, entity, or business subject to the smoking prohibitions shall not discriminate or retaliate in any manner against a person for making a complaint of a violation of the rules or furnishing information concerning the violation to the persons concerned.

As regards prohibition on smoking in work place, the employer should communicate this to all current employees and to each prospective employee upon application for employment.[v]

Smoking is prohibited in any motor vehicle in which a child who is less than six years of age and who weighs less than sixty pounds is restrained in a child passenger safety seat.[vi]

The laws of Arkansas permit smoking in certain private places.  These places include private residences except when used as a licensed child care, adult daycare, or health care facility, and hotel and motel rooms that are rented to guests and are designated as smoking rooms.  However, if a hotel or motel has more than twenty-five guest rooms, not more than twenty percent of rooms rented to guests in the hotel or motel may be designated as exempt.  Smoking is allowed in all workplaces that has less than three employees provided the workplace is not a public place and; in retail tobacco store, if secondhand smoke from the store does not infiltrate into areas in which smoking is prohibited. 

It is also permitted in areas within long-term care facilities that are designated as a smoking area or in areas set apart for supervised patient smoking.  Smoking is permitted in outdoor areas of places of employment and in all workplaces of any manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler of tobacco products, of any tobacco leaf dealer or processor, and all tobacco storage facilities.

Persons are also allowed to smoke in restaurants and bars licensed by the State of Arkansas.  However, the bar or restaurant should not at any time permit persons less than twenty-one years of age from entering the premises and secondhand smoke should not infiltrate into areas in which smoking is prohibited and such bars and restaurants should prominently display a health warning sign. 

Smoking is also allowed in designated smoking areas on the gaming floor of any franchisee of the Arkansas Racing Commission.[vii]

The owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of a public place and place of employment in which smoking is prohibited should post a “No Smoking” signs or “No Smoking” symbol.  Such person shall also remove all ashtrays from the area unless an ashtray is permanently affixed to an existing structure before July 21, 2006.

Any violation of these provisions may be treated by the Department of Health as a deficiency to be assessed against any licensee or facility.[viii]

 Any person who violates any provision of the Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act relating to smoking is guilty of a violation and shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).[ix]

A person who violates any provision of the Arkansas Protection from Secondhand Smoke for Children Act of 2006 is guilty of a violation and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine not to exceed twenty-five dollars ($25.00).  If the person is convicted, pleads guilty, pleads nolo contendere, or forfeits bond for violation of the provisions, no court costs or other costs or fees shall be assessed.

Any person who proves to the court that he or she has entered into a smoking cessation program may have his or her fine eliminated for a first offense violation of the rules.[x]

As per the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Arkansas Clean Indoor Air Act Of 2006, every firm, person, or corporation who violates the provisions of these Rules may be assessed a civil penalty by the Board of Health. [xi]  The penalty shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($ 1,000) for each violation.  Each day of a continuing violation is deemed a separate violation for purposes of penalty assessments.[xii]  The Board of Health reports of the violation of these Rules to the applicable licensing authority, and any entity licensed by the Board or Department of Health may have its license suspended or revoked for violations of this Rule.[xiii]  However, no penalty is assessed until the person charged with the violation has been given the opportunity for a hearing on the violation.[xiv]

[i] A.C.A. § 20-27-1801

[ii] A.C.A. § 20-27-1802

[iii] A.C.A. § 20-27-1901. 

[iv] 016 24 CARR 002

[v] A.C.A. § 20-27-1804 

[vi] A.C.A. § 20-27-1903

[vii] A.C.A. § 20-27-1805

[viii] A.C.A. § 20-27-1806

[ix] A.C.A. § 20-27-1809

[x] A.C.A. § 20-27-1904

[xi] 016 24 CARR 002

[xii] Id

[xiii] Id

[xiv] Id