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Ramsey sponsors bill to allow local governments to curb secondhand smoke

February 12, 2018

The Daily Times,

February 9, 2018-

Local governments would have the option to regulate smoking more strictly than state law under a new bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville. “As written today, state law is ignoring the will of the people in local communities who desire smoke-free air,” Ramsey said in a press release from the American Heart Association on Thursday. “The air we breathe is a public safety matter — no one should be forced to walk around in a cloud of poison. “Telling a community, ‘You have control over your smoking-related policy’ is simply the right thing to do.”

House Bill 2327/Senate Bill 2525, the Local Option Bill, would repeal the tobacco preemption clause from Tennessee law and insert the local option. As written, Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1803 prohibits smoking “in all enclosed public places within this state, including, but not limited to, the following places” and lists 19 examples. However, TCA 39-17-1804 lists 10 exemptions from the smoking prohibition, including “non-enclosed areas of public places.”