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News Summary

Public smoking ban nears

Publication Date: 9/26/2007
  • Author:Joel Davis
  • Publication:The Daily Times Staff

Lighting up in public places could cost you starting Monday.

That's when the Tennessee Departments of Health and Labor and Workforce Development will begin enforcing the Non-Smokers Protection Act, which prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places with a few exceptions.

Smoking in a prohibited areas is subject to a civil penalty of $50 for individuals. A business that knowingly fails to comply with the law will receive a written warning for the first violation, a fine of $100 for a second violation and fine of $500 for a third or subsequent violation in a 12-month period.

State Health Commissioner Susan R. Cooper said the intent is to help educate the public about the ban before cracking down.

"We're not going to implement a 'smoking police' on Oct. 1,"she said. "We are not going out and looking for people violating the law. We believe very strongly the first few months should be used for education. We're trying to help employers in Tennessee be successful with implementation of this law."