Fayetteville voters ban smoking

(February 11, 2004) - (Undated-AP) -- Smoking in Fayetteville restaurants and workplaces will soon be illegal, and you still can't buy a drink in Springdale restaurants on Sunday. Voters made those decisions yesterday in special elections. A sales tax increase was rejected in Elkins but approved in Elm Springs and Maumelle. In Fayetteville, the smoking ban was narrowly approved by 410 votes out of nearly 12-thousand cast. The ban, which does not include smoking in bars and tobacco retail stores, is scheduled to go into effect 30 days after the election. The Fayetteville City Council approved the ordinance in September. A group organized in opposition to the ban collected enough signatures to put the issue to a referendum. Elkins residents defeated a proposed one cent local sales tax with 228 votes against the measure and 70 for it. Elm Springs voters approved a local one percent sales tax, with 66 out of 115 voters in favor and 49 opposed. The tax will go into the city general fund. And in Maumelle, about 55 percent of voters approved a once-cent sales tax for city improvements.