Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tennessee public smoking ban offers health, environmental and productivity advantages.

Smokers in Tennessee are now finding it harder to light up in public since the TN smoking ban kicked off this month.

Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act

The state of Tennessee is far behind other states that have banned smoking in public places such as restaurants, offices, hotels, retails stores and child day care centers in an attempt to make the workplace safer for employees as well as customers and to reduce the annoyance of second hand smoke.

State Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper has stated that right now education of the Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act is being stressed and that the enforcement of the Tennessee Non-Smokers Protection Act will begin by early next year.

Individuals who smoke in areas where smoking is prohibited will be subject to a $50 civil fine while businesses who allow smoking on prohibited can be fined as much as $500 after 3 violations in the same year.

If you wish to report smoking in public places you can in a complaint toll free (800)-293-8228 or fill out Tennessee department of Health Non-Smoking Complaint Form.

It is surprising and upsetting to many where smoking in Tennessee was previously allowed, but most of the obvious places where smokers could enjoy a cigarette that would annoy or affect those around them have now been included in the ban.

A partial list of where smoking is now prohibited in TN is:

I can tell you that when hiking any of the numerous trails in the Smoky Mountains national park the most common litter I pick up when hiking the trails of the national park is cigarette and cigar butts. How many centuries do you think they will last if I don't pick them up?

Still desperate to still light up that cigarette and smoke in public while you are in Tennessee? There are some places that are exempt such as:

  • Bars, retail tobacco stores or other establishments that do not allow any persons under the age of 21
  • Any private club
  • Your own home or any other private residence or private motor vehicle that is not being used to commercially transport passengers to a child or adult care facility.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle and there are no passengers.
  • A business consisting of 3 or less employees as long as the smokers smoke stays in an enclosed room and does not infiltrate where customers, the general pubic or other employees would be.
  • Any open outdoor non enclosed area in a public place as long as for example you are in a tent that the sides are open, decks and open patios as long as the smoke does not infiltrate into any area where smoking under the new law is prohibited.
  • Businesses primary in the tobacco industry such as tobacco manufacturers, importers and wholesalers
  • And now for the kicker: you can smoke in long-term care facilities and nursing homes if they allow it.

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