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EDITORIAL: Smoking ban should be local option

Publication Date: 2005-07-13
  • Author:EDITORIAL
  • Publication:Bristol (TN) Herald Courier
Bristol Tennessee leaders aren't out to end public smoking in the city, but they believe the power to do so should be in their hands.

They have joined local government leaders from Johnson City, Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, Cookeville and Jackson in asking state lawmakers to give them the power to regulate public smoking. We support this effort, as we did a similar attempt last year that was killed by Sen. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, and a handful of colleagues.

Cities, towns and counties should be able to pass strict smoking bans if elected leaders and residents mutually desire to do so. State lawmakers need to repeal the 1994 measure which keeps the power to restrict smoking firmly in the hands of leaders in Nashville...

Before Tennessee communities can take innovative action to protect the public health, lawmakers need to remove a law which is standing in the way. The power to ban public smoking should rest at the local level, not in the state's capital.