Talk Business was the first to report that an effort is underway to remove two major exemptions to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking at most businesses in Arkansas.
An awareness of the issue was brought about by an ad campaign online (and now on TV) where three restaurant and bar workers make a pitch for cleaner air in which to work.
Jason Tolbert with our content partner, The Tolbert Report, dives a little deeper and finds that the ad campaign for cleaner air is being supported by Arkansas Department of Health funding.
You may have seen some commercials or even a web ad or two that are part of a new campaign called “Clear the Air Arkansas.” The ads feature a bartender, a lounge singer, and a waitress that insist they also deserve a smoke-free work place.
What you may not know is the ads are being paid for by state funds.
According to records requested by the Tolbert Report, the Arkansas Department of Health has spent $202,010.15 so far on the campaign through the advertising agency Cranford, Johnson, Robinson, and Woods. These funds are part of the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program and does not include the additional $3.5 million spent on their “Stamp Out Smoking” program during the same time period.
There is certainly nothing wrong with a state agency charged with improving public health advocating for healthier work places. As Tolbert notes, it is the timing of the campaign that gives this advocacy expenditure of state funds a questionable motive.
You can read more at this link.