Bredesen Signs Workplace Smoking Ban Into Law

Nashville (AP) -- Governor Bredesen signed into law a measure to extinguish most workplace smoking in Tennessee.

The law will go into effect in July, but the ban will not be enforced until October to give businesses time to comply. The ban would apply to most businesses, including restaurants.

Exclusions include bars or restaurants that prohibit people under 21 years old at all times, businesses employing no more than three workers and retail tobacco stores.

About a quarter of Tennesseans smoke.

The smoking ban was the second of two major pieces of anti-tobacco legislation passed this year. Lawmakers also agreed to more than triple the tax on a pack of cigarettes to 62 cents, mostly to fund increased education spending.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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