Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances

Action Alert


Publication Date: 2004-02-26
Now is the time for Tennesseeans to stand up to the tobacco industry by telling state legislators to say YES to preemption repeal, YES to restoring local control, and YES to protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. In 1994, the Tennessee Legislature took a big step backwards by uniting with Big Tobacco. That was the year that the state legislature passed a law that stripped away the ability of local communities to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke. A decade has passed in which Tennesseeans were needlessly subjected to the death and disease caused by secondhand smoke. That is ten years too long. Fortunately, several bills have been introduced-- bills that would restore local control to your communities, allowing them to pass community-wide laws that protect workers, residents and visitors from secondhand smoke.

Big Tobacco opposes local smokefree laws because, once enacted, they prove popular and spread from community to community, leading to healthier people and lower social acceptance of smoking. Local laws allow for greater public education and support, are easier to implement, and result in higher compliance. More than 1,600 local jurisdictions around the country have enacted clean indoor air laws, with 281 providing for completely smokefree workplaces, restaurants, and/or bars.

Please ask Tennessee legislators to restore local control by supporting Senate Bills 2367, 2676, and 2096 as currently written. Tell them to put the health of Tennessee ahead of tobacco industry profits.


  1. Call your Legislators at (800) 449-8366. Tell them you support any bill that restores local control to your community.
  2. Contact the Governor''s Office at (615) 741-2001. Ask him to say YES to the public health of Tennessee and NO to tobacco preemption.
  3. Write letters to the editors of your local newspaper, as well as to The Tennesseean.

  4. Mail: Letters to the Editor c/o The Tennessean, 1100 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. Fax: (615)259-8093. Email:

  5. TIP: sign your letter and provide your contact information, including telephone number, so that the newspaper can verify authorship, if necessary