What You Need to Know About Tennessee's New Non-Smoking Law

Knoxville (WVLT) - In 13 days, you will no longer be able to smoke inside most businesses in Tennessee.

The "Non Smoking Protection Act" goes into effect on October 1st.
Volunteer TV's Lauren Davis has been following the story and joins us with the restrictions.

Many businesses are actually going smoke free a little earlier than expected and most patrons are happy about it.

The grills at Calhoun's Restaurant in Downtown Knoxville will soon be the only thing smoking inside.

On Monday, a favorite game-day grill will be cutting out smoking indoors one week earlier than Tennessee law requires on October first.

Calhoun's General Manager Tammy Dawn says, "The demand is for non-smoking that's why you see every night.
The new law will be strict."

Environmental Health Director Ronny Nease says, "No smoking inside buildings where the public is invited."

That includes bars and restaurants, but also buildings at parks and campgrounds, even your neighborhood convenience store.

But what about businesses with outdoor areas?

Nease says, "Can allow smoking on patio as long as smoking doesn't go back into the building."

The only exceptions, businesses that only allow customers and workers 21 and up.

Reaction to the ban is still mixed.

Kenneth Rhines is against the smoking ordinance and says, "Intrusion into our privacy and individual rights further encouraging the health nazis and self righteous."

Tim Thornton is for the smoking ordinance and says, "it's a better quality of life and better service."

At Calhoun's, managers say 95 percent of their business is from non-smokers, so they're ready to clear the air inside for all.

Dawn says, "It's gonna please guests. Because that's what America Wants!"

Now it's up to the manager to enforce the policies at their stories and restaurants.

You could face a $50 fine for lighting up.

Now if you think a business is not following the law, you can call the health department at 1-800-293-8228.

And starting October 1st, you'll see this sign at all local restaurants and other businesses.


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