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Lawmakers To Debate Smoking Ban For Restaurants

Publication Date: 1/21/2007
  • Author:AP
  • Publication:WSMV-TV NBC-4 (Nashville, TN)

A new legislative session is under way, and lawmakers are expected to take up several proposals aimed at restricting smoking in public places.

Two of the most contentious issues will be proposals to ban smoking in restaurants and to give local governments the authority to regulate public smoking in their own communities.

Harkavy, having lunch at a Germantown restaurant, said he liked that idea.

"Local governments know more than the Legislature about what the people in their areas would like," he said.

Germantown, a Memphis suburb, is one of several Tennessee cities that have debated banning smoking in restaurants, only to be blocked by the Legislature's exclusive control over smoking rules.

Historically, anti-smoking critics have struggled in Nashville where pro-tobacco forces and their lobbyists are tough competitors. The American Lung Association, on a national report card rating states for smoke-free air, gives Tennessee an F.