Smoking Ban Has Few Exceptions

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A ban on smoking in most Tennessee restaurants and office buildings goes into effect tomorrow.

That leaves few places where Tennessee smokers can puff publicly without penalty.

Restaurants around the state are doing away with smoking sections, and the state is getting ready to enforce the new legislation.

But don't expect a major crackdown just yet.

State Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper says officials want to educate people the first few months. Later, they'll penalize smokers who break the law.

A person who knowingly smokes in a prohibited area is subject to a civil penalty of $50. Businesses also face fines for repeater violations.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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