Little Rock Task Force to Examine Tobacco Issues

by Arkansas Business staff  on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2005 4:14 pm  

Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey on Thursday announced members of a task force he charged with examining tobacco use in the workplace.

Members of the task force, led by City Director Genevieve Stewart, are:

• Dr. David Bourne
• Herb Broadway of La'Changes Bar
• Eric Estes of the Attorney General's Public Protection Division
• Jay Hamric of Outback Steakhouse
• Tim Heiple of Heiple & Wiedower Architects
• Lee Johnson of Jay's Place
• Mary Beth Ringold of Cajun's Wharf and Capers restaurants
• Kathy Webb of Lilly's Dim Sum

"I look forward to the work of this task force," Dailey said in a news release. "I expect we will have a good exchange of ideas as we move forward with this public dialogue."

Earlier this year, Dailey called for the task force's creation "to strategically plan public forums and gather data on anti-smoking perspectives from anti-tobacco coalitions and other citizen groups representing all perspectives. These action steps will result in the production of recommendations and a draft ordinance to protect the health of Little Rock citizens through specific city legislation and regulation."

Stewart said the goal of the task force "is good health - good public health, but also good economic health."

During the announcement, Dr. Ashvin P. Vibhakar, director of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Institute for Economic Advancement, presented a "Smoke-Free Business Environments" assessment.

Vibhakar said the study found that the economic impact of a smoking ban is dependent on the scope and timing of the ordinance. The study looked at tax collection patterns in areas with a ban, effects of smoking bans in bars, and the stances of advocates and critics of smoking bans.



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