It’s time to protect musician’s workplaces.
Secondhand smoke exposure threatens the livelihood of musicians and artists as well as the servers and staff powering the venues that put on our favorite shows.
ANR is hard at work from Nashville to Lake Charles to protect the treasured voices of artists and musicians. And our ANR Foundation project Smokefree Music Cities has helped to shine a light on just how hard it is for culture bearers like musicians to work in smoky venues. Many of the musicians featured in our Smokefree Music City shows during the pandemic gave heartfelt testimony about how they are affected by secondhand smoke.

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“Smoke is a singer’s kryptonite! Gagging in the middle of a song due to smoke in the room from those who ignore rules or where there are no rules, is torture. People should not be forced to be exposed to smoke at music venues. There is no risk-free level of exposure to someone else’s drifting smoke.”

The vast majority of Tennesseans enjoy a safe, healthy, and smokefree workplace, and musicians are just hoping for the same.

The global pandemic was particularly challenging for our friends in the music industry, we stand with them because we believe everyone deserves the right to breathe smokefree air.

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Thank you so much for supporting smokefree work in Tennessee and nationwide.

The momentum of this movement has inspired leaders in one of America’s most treasured music cities, Nashville, Tennessee. Musicians for a Smokefree Tennessee – a coalition of musicians, public health partners, and businesses – have come together to call on lawmakers to make music venues 100% smokefree.
ANR is leading the charge to close gaps in smokefree protections, and can take direct action to make voices heard in the state of Tennessee's next legislative season. 



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 smokefree music venues

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.