February 27, 2018-
The majority of Tennessee’s top-tier gubernatorial candidates said Tuesday they support a measure that would allow local governments to implement smoking bans. State law currently prohibits local governments from regulating tobacco products. A bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville, and Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, currently under consideration would allow local governments to regulate smoking in certain areas, including hotels, public property and age-restricted venues.
Speaking at a forum at Trevecca Nazarene University hosted by the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness and Nashville Health Care Council, five of the six top-tier candidates said they would support such legislation. The USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee served as the media partner for the forum. Similar measures have failed to gain traction in the legislature. House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, said she supported the measure, adding, “I think a local government should have that flexibility. The government is best that’s closest to the people.”