The SmokeFree Little Rock campaign officially launched in November 2017 with a goal of passing a comprehensive smokefree ordinance in the city of Little Rock. Currently, not all workplaces are smokefree, including bars and hotels. Little Rock is only one of 18 capital cities across the country to not be covered by a comprehensive smokefree law. “Right now, the law is completely unfair. Some workers are protected from secondhand smoke, and others are not. That protection should be extended to every worker in Little Rock, and that’s what we want Mayor Stodola and the Little Rock Board of Directors to make happen”, said SmokeFree Little Rock campaign chair Dr. Jennifer Redmond Knight.
A comprehensive smokefree ordinance would not only protect more people from secondhand smoke; it would also help drive down the overall toll that tobacco takes on the state. Currently, Arkansas has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation at almost 25%. That has a huge negative impact on the state. Almost 6,000 Arkansans die each year due to smoking, and the state is saddled with over $1 billion in healthcare costs because of smoking. “Comprehensive smoke free laws are a proven way to help reduce the burden of tobacco. Arkansas still suffers from the effects of tobacco so much because we haven’t taken this necessary step. Little Rock can be leader and change this dreadful tide,” said Matt Henry, Community Policy Manager with the American Heart Association.
If you or your organization would like to get involved in the Smokefree Little Rock campaign, please contact Jennifer Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt Henry at email@example.com. Also, please show your support to the mayor and city board by texting “smokefree” to 46839.