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News Summary

Old habits die hard, especially in Tennessee

Publication Date: 2019-08-08
  • Author:Kandy Childress
  • Publication:Kingsport Times-News

You need to understand the history of how Tennessee became beholden to tobacco, even though tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S....

According to the Nashville Scene's Bill Carey, it all began in 1994 when the Tennessee state legislature was passing a series of laws meant to reduce teen smoking. Tobacco industry lobbyists quietly slid in an amendment effectively preventing local governments from passing "any law or regulation of tobacco products." The tobacco industry wanted preemption law passed so it wouldn’t have to worry about local ordinances popping up all over the state. For example, if the city of Kingsport passed a law regulating the use of tobacco products, the ordinance would violate state law and be invalid. This in essence handicaps all Tennessee municipalities from exercising local control of tobacco products...

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