Tennessee is a state that preempts municipalities from adopting local smokefree laws. In 2007, a weak statewide smokefree law went into effect that exempts small workplaces with 4 or fewer employees, as well as restaurants and bars prohibiting entry for those 21 and under, creating dramatic gaps in smokefree protections. Many workers across the state, particularly musicians, are left without protections from secondhand smoke exposure in their workplaces.
A new coalition made up of musicians and others in the music industry, ‘Musicians for a Smokefree Nashville,’ was created in September 2020 with a goal of making Nashville a Smokefree music city, one music venue at a time. As a result of very coordinated outreach and education, a new and expanded effort for a Smokefree Tennessee was launched.
Numerous business and public health partners have signed onto these smokefree efforts. In a statement released last week, Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL Predators team, is becoming an entirely smokefree and vape-free property. The news follows a similar endorsement and new smokefree policy from the Titans NFL Team and Nissan Stadium this past fall.
It will be an uphill battle to overcome decades of preemption, but there is a great deal of support and enthusiasm for making Tennessee a smokefree state. Lend your support by signing up for updates at https://smokefreenashville.com/ and at https://nonsmokersrights.org/nashville-tn.