Arkansas committee rejects bid to repeal indoor smoking ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An effort to repeal Arkansas' indoor smoking ban at private businesses has failed before a House panel.

The House Public Health Committee on Thursday without debate rejected the proposal to exempt private businesses from the ban enacted in 2006. The measure would have kept the ban in place for publicly owned buildings.

Republican Rep. Justin Gonzales sponsored the proposal and said it was about protecting private property rights. It was opposed by health care groups.

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