NASHVILLE, TN — August 16, 2022 — Tonight, the Metro Council of Nashville and Davidson County will hear a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in the Health and Public Safety Committee. The ordinance was introduced earlier in the month in an effort to close a gap that has left workplaces for the city’s musicians and hospitality staff vulnerable to secondhand smoke.
Leading national and local public health groups have come together to support the effort. The below is a statement on behalf of the above groups ahead of today’s committee hearing.
“We’re extremely grateful to Metro Council Members for advancing this lifesaving measure that will ensure nearly all workplaces in the city are free of secondhand smoke and protect those who visit, work and enjoy our great bar and entertainment venues. As one of the nation’s leading music and entertainment destinations, Nashville relies heavily on its hospitality workers and musicians. However, these individuals are some of the only Tennesseans who are not guaranteed a smoke-free workplace.”
“Numerous studies over the past two decades have repeatedly shown that the only way to protect people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke is to not allow smoking. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, without smoke-free laws, bars and lounges have among the highest concentrations of secondhand smoke of all public spaces.”
“No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck. We urge councilmembers to take final action to protect those most affected by secondhand smoke and make such a reality a thing of the past for Nashville musicians and hospitality workers.”
Tennessee has the 5th highest adult smoking rate in the nation and sees disproportionally high smoking-related illness and death because of it.
Over 31% of all cancer deaths in Tennessee are smoking-related, and over 11,400 Tennesseans still die each year due to smoking.