Arkansas State Fair rolls out new restrictions – THV 11
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — New changes are coming to the Arkansas State Fair. This year, they’re cracking down on smoking. It’s a trend that’sÂ growing in popularity across the country.
“That’s because there are so many people on the fairgrounds,Â the people that don’t smokeÂ don’t want to have to deal with the second-hand smoke,” said Fair General Manager Ralph Shoptaw.
Shoptaw said fair security guards will be on the lookout and asking for cooperation.
“And if they don’t, then we’ll ask them to leave that facility,” Shoptaw said.
On social media, some people are angry that their space to smoke will now be limited, while others are happy to see this restriction coming to the state.
The livestock barns, the equestrian center, Blue Moon Pavilion, and the Hall of Industry are all included. You can’t smoke inside or 20 feet near the buildings. This year, there’s a new addition: no chewing tobacco and no e-cigarettes.
“A little over 500 die each year because of secondÂ hand smoke so this policy will help protect a lot more Arkansans,” said Trena Mitchell, Executive Director for the Arkansas Cancer Coalition.
It’s a change that she called a step forward because the fair is all about bringing families together. Still, it doesn’t mean that smoking is banned altogether.
“We’re not trying to take away your rights, we’re just trying to protect the patrons of the state fair,” Mitchell said.
“You know there is a lot of room here, a lot of room on the fairgrounds so there are plenty of places, if someone wants to smoke they can slip off to the side and smoke,” Shoptaw said.
He just hopes that people will understand this is all to make the fair a cleaner and more enjoyable environment.