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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  • by Barney Demonbreun Location: Nashville Tn on Nov 13, 2011 at 01:38 AM
    Here's what doesn't make sense about the new law as I understand it. You can't have anyone under 21 in your bar (im a bar owner) at any time open or closed. So my kids can't come in and help when I'm closed? I mean they enjoy coming in and messing around in here when I'm doing paperwork. They play pool, have a burger and play while I work. It's nice to have them with me. If nobody is in here smoking....it shouldn't be an issue. ALSO and foremost. I can't have anyone as an employee in here that's under 21. If they are 18 or older....have the privalage to purchase cigarettes and vote....why can't they make the conscious decision to work in a smoking environment? It's their decision as a legal adult to do as they wish. If they choose not to work in a smoking environment great...but don't tell them they cant if they can walk down the street and purchase a pack if they wish. It's a very restrictive law in my opinion and doesn't give a legal adult the right to choose which is what this country is built upon. Freedom to be who you want to be and work where you want to work. It's a very unfare law in my opinion and should be rewritten to allow a person to make their own decisions as any adult should be allowed. Just my opinion.
  • by Dwight Location: Knoxville on May 6, 2009 at 05:47 PM
    All people should have the right to do as they please, however, when someone cannot breathe or their children can't breathe due to the smoke (being heavily athsmatic) then where do our rights fall into play. It becomes wrong that some are excluded form things because of other people not caring about the air about them. If they can fid a way to filter the smoke they are exhaling, before it escapes to the public. Fine, continue. Until then, all people deserve their rights. My right to live comes before someone elses right to pleasure their addition. Former smoker and hospitalized recently with pulse oxygen of 85%, yet having to walk through the smoke to get into the Emergency Room.
  • by KAY Location: MASCOT on Sep 21, 2007 at 08:13 AM
  • by Bobby Location: Knox on Sep 19, 2007 at 05:28 AM
    What a bunch of Communists. Whats next Methane Free restaurants? I hope they all go broke.
  • by Anita Location: Tellico Plains Tn on Sep 18, 2007 at 08:07 PM
    I can't believe all this about not smoking! Drinking is still going on every where. How many deaths are there involved in drinking. How many health problems are there with drinking? Yet they want to attack smokers? Isn't it agaisnt the law to target only one? There are rehabs EVERY WHERE FOR EVERYTHING, WHY NOT NON-SMOKING REHABS? I am a smoker and would like to quit! Why isn't ther any smoking support groups in every County? Thank you for listening! Anita!!!


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