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Making Hospital Grounds Smoke-Free: A Case Study of Arkansas Act 134 of 2005

Felix, Holly C. PhD; Wheeler, J. Gary MD; Pulley, LeaVonne PhD; Stewart, M. Kathryn MD; Bursac, Zoran PhD; Mays, Glen P. PhD; Mackey, Diane S. JD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: March-April 2009 - Volume 15 - Issue 2 - p E9–E15
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000346020.12641.92
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The impact of tobacco use and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) has been well documented. Many policies have been implemented to curb tobacco use and to reduce exposure to ETS. The purpose of this article is to describe the development and passage of Arkansas Act 134 of 2005, the first state law to prohibit the use of tobacco products on the grounds of all nonfederal community (nonpsychiatric) hospital facilities in the state. Efforts to bring this and other tobacco control policies to the attention of policy makers will be discussed in the context of several agenda-setting strategies. The strategy used by stakeholders in Arkansas to bring out Act 134 as well as the other agenda-setting strategies described in the article provide insight into the ways other states and communities seeking to adopt smoking bans and related public health policies can bring such policies to the attention of policy makers.

This study describes the development and passage of Arkansas Act 134 of 2005.

Holly C. Felix, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Health Policy, Department of Health Policy and Management, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

J. Gary Wheeler, MD, is Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock.

LeaVonne Pulley, PhD, is Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, Department of Health Education and Health Behavior, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

M. Kathryn Stewart, MD, is Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Office of Community-Based Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

Zoran Bursac, PhD, is Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Department of Biostatistics, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

Glen P. Mays, PhD, is Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Management, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock.

Diane S. Mackey, JD, is Assistant Dean for Institutional and Organizational Affairs, Assistant Professor, and Director JD/MPH Dual Degree Program, Department of Health Policy and Management, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and William H. Bowen School of Law, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Corresponding Author: Holly C. Felix, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Management, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham St, Slot 820, Little Rock, AR 72205 (felixholly@uams.edu).

The authors thank the staff of the Arkansas Hospital Association and Arkansas House of Representative Jay Bradford-(D) for serving as key informants and providing insights into the genesis of Act 134 of 2005. This analysis was supported by institutional resources provided by the Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas, Little Rock. The authors have no known competing interest with the publication of this manuscript. All authors are employees of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and all (except for Ms Mackey) were members of a UAMS committee, which evaluated the impact of a smoke-free campus policy enacted by UAMS prior to the passage of Act 134. This manuscript grew out of the work of that committee, with the experience of UAMS in implementing its smoke-free campus policy serving as an example for the statewide legislation (Act 134). The authors and UAMS will not financially benefit from the publication of this manuscript.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.