Action Alert

TN SENATE HEARING ON MARCH 23

Contact the Senate Commerce Committee and ask them to vote YES on SB1024 in support of local action on smokefree air!

This coalition of musicians, public health partners, and businesses has come together to encourage Tennessee to go smokefree inside its music venues and bars. They even have a theme song to inspire you today.

PREEMPTION REPEAL EFFORT UNDERWAY

Bill introduced to repeal preemption and restore local action on smokefree air

In an effort to restore local action on smokefree air, Senator Richard Briggs of Knoxville filed SB 1024 and Representative Sam Whitson has filed the companion HB 1278 which will allow certain Tennessee communities to pass smokefree protections in workplaces currently exempted from statewide law, garnering support from national, state and local public health organizations.  The proposed bill would protect the health of Tennesseans from toxic secondhand smoke.

A statewide smokefree law that passed in Tennessee in 2007 exempts many workplaces including age restricted bars, clubs, and music venues.  The law also prevents local communities from addressing smoking and e-cigarette use in workplaces and public places. The result is that thousands of Tennesseans remain exposed to toxic secondhand smoke on the job.

The proposed measure comes after increased calls for smokefree air have gained momentum over the last year.  Musicians for a Smokefree Tennessee, a statewide coalition of musicians, public health partners, and the business community leaders, is encouraging their favorite venues to go smokefree.  More individual businesses have taken this important step, including Bridgestone Arena and Nissan Stadium – two of Nashville’s largest sports and entertainment venues.  Yet, disparities persist across the state and the only way to protect everyone from secondhand smoke, no matter where they work, is through 100% smokefree indoor air laws.

Tennessee communities are primed to take action and the proposed legislation paves the way by removing language that has previously prevented local laws from taking effect for certain cities and counties.  Demand for smokefree air has never been higher, particularly in light of a global pandemic that impacts the respiratory system.  Smoking and secondhand smoke remain leading causes of death and disease.  Additionally, smoking increases a person’s risk for susceptibility to and more severe illness from COVID-19.

“Musicians are often called the heartbeat of Tennessee. We’ve been sidelined much of the last year, and cannot wait to get back to work. We really want to do that in a safe and healthy workplace, and feel like the bill proposed by Senator Briggs is the first big step in making that possible,” says Jamie Kent, chair of the Musicians for Smokefree Nashville coalition. “It’s time to show secondhand smoke the door.”

Musicians for a Smokefree Tennessee

Help create a Smokefree Nashville

Entertainers are exposed to secondhand smoke

Lack of local control takes its toll

Learn more about the status of smokefree air in Tennessee with the ANR Foundation's Bridging the Gap report.