Tennessee Advocacy

Tennessee Advocacy News

The number one advocacy priority in Tennessee is removing all weakening exemptions from the Non Smokers Protection Act.

Although there are several exemptions, the most troublesome one permits any establishment that admits only persons 21 and up to allow smoking. Local estimates suggest that about 10% of businesses across the state, primarily restaurants and bars, have applied this exemption. The 2006 Surgeon General's report made the health risks of exposure to secondhand smoke perfectly clear by stating that there is NO safe level of environmental tobacco smoke. The law must provide protection for every worker in every workplace in Tennessee. The American Lung Association also supports raising the cigarette tax and funding a robust tobacco control program.

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Funding Approved for Governor’s Healthy Tennessee Plan:

The 2013 Tennessee Legislature approved funding for the Governor’s Health and Wellness strategic plan to address Tennessee’s high rates of obesity, tobacco use and resulting serious chronic illness.  In addition the state budget funded Department of Health initiatives to reduce and prevent tobacco use, and reduce secondhand smoke; and capital funding for conversion of a coal-fired power plant to natural gas at University of Tennessee- Knoxville.  The elimination of a coal-fired power plant should help reduce particle and ozone pollution and result in cleaner air.