IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in Tennessee

Restrictions in Tennessee

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Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in Tennessee

Tennessee law prohibits smoking: in all enclosed public places, including aquariums, galleries, libraries, museums, banks, laundromats, factories, professional offices, retail service establishments, child and adult day care facilities, convention facilities, educational facilities, elevators, health care facilities, hotels and motels, common areas of multiple-unit residential facilities, polling places, public and private transportation facilities, restaurants, restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, retail stores, places of meeting or public assembly under the control of the state or a political subdivision of the state, service lines, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and other entertainment venues.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1803: Places where smoking is prohibited

 

“No Smoking” signs or the international “No Smoking” symbol, consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it, must be clearly and conspicuously posted at every entrance to every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited by the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control of that place.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1805: Posting of nonsmoking signs

 

The General Assembly intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of tobacco products. Any law or regulation of tobacco products enacted or promulgated after March 15, 1994, by any agency or political subdivision of the state or any agency thereof is void; provided, that cities, counties and counties having a metropolitan form of government may regulate the use of tobacco products in buildings owned or leased by the political subdivisions; and provided further, that airport authorities, utility districts, and special school districts may regulate the use of tobacco products in buildings owned or leased by the entities. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, individual owners or operators of retail establishments located within an enclosed shopping mall retain the right to determine the policy on the use of tobacco products within the person’s establishment. A municipality, a county or a county having a metropolitan form of government is authorized by local ordinance or resolution to prohibit smoking on the grounds of a hospital or in the public areas immediately outside of a hospital building and its entrances, including public sidewalks. Any regulation or ordinance that is passed or adopted by a local government may prohibit smoking by a distance of up to 50 feet from a hospital’s entrance unless the application of a 50-foot limit would place hospital patients in a potentially unsafe condition.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1551: Purpose of part; exemptions; authority to prohibit smoking

 

Exemptions

 

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Age-restricted venues
    • An “age-restricted venue” is a legal establishment that affirmatively restricts access to its buildings or facilities at all times to persons who are 21 years of age or older by requiring each person who attempts to gain entry to those buildings or facilities to submit for inspection an acceptable form of identification for the express purpose of determining if the person is 21 years of age or older
  • Designated hotel and motel guest rooms
  • All premises of any manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler of tobacco products, all premises of any tobacco leaf dealer or processor, and all tobacco storage facilities
  • Non-enclosed areas of public places, provided that smoke from those areas does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited. Exempt non-enclosed areas of public places include:
    • Open air patios, porches, or decks
    • Any area enclosed by garage type doors on 1 or more sides when all those doors are completely open
    • Any area enclosed by tents or awnings with removable sides or vents when all those sides or vents are completely removed or open
  • Nursing homes and long-term care facilities, provided that the exemption only applies to residents of those facilities and that resident smoking practices will be governed by the policies and procedures established by those facilities. Smoke from such areas must not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited.
  • Private businesses with 3 or fewer employees where, in the discretion of the business owner, smoking may be allowed in an enclosed room not accessible to the general public. Smoke from such areas must not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited.
  • Private clubs, provided that this exemption does not apply to any entity established solely for the purpose of avoiding compliance
  • Private homes, private residences, and private motor vehicles, unless those homes, residences, and motor vehicles are being used for child care or day care or unless the private vehicle is being used for the public transportation of children or as part of health care or day care transportation
  • Retail tobacco stores that prohibit minors on their premises
    • A “retail tobacco store” is a retail store that derives its largest category of sales from tobacco products and accessories.
  • Commercial vehicles when the vehicle is occupied solely by the operator

 

Effective 7/1/2016, Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1551 is amended by adding the following language as a new subsection: Notwithstanding subsection (a) or any other provision of this title, a municipality, a county, or a county having a metropolitan form of government is authorized by local ordinance or resolution to prohibit smoking on the grounds of any property owned by the municipality, county, or county having a metropolitan form of government.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1804: Exempted areas
Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1802: Part definitions

 

Tennessee law does not provide a specific application procedure establishments to qualify for exemption from the smoking ban. Localities may have specific requirements.

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot possess a tobacco product, purchase or accept receipt of a tobacco product, or present or offer to any person any purported proof of age which is false, fraudulent, or not actually that person’s own for the purpose of purchasing or receiving any tobacco product. However, it is not unlawful for a person under 18 years of age to handle or transport tobacco or tobacco products as a part of and in the course of the person’s employment, provided that the person is under the supervision of another employee who is at least 21 years of age.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1505: Prohibited purchases or possession by minors; penalties

 

Division of Labor Standards staff reported that, in practice, individuals under 18 years of age may not work in tobacco retail stores.

 

It is illegal for any person to sell or distribute any tobacco products to another person who is not 18 years of age or older or to purchase a tobacco product on behalf of another person who is under 18 years of age. It is also unlawful for any person to persuade, entice, send, or assist a person under 18 years of age to purchase, acquire, receive, or attempt to purchase, acquire, or receive a tobacco product.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1504: Sale or distribution to minors unlawful; proof of age requirement

 

Every person who sells tobacco products at retail must post conspicuously and keep so posted at the place of business a sign, no smaller than 93.5 square inches, to ensure that it is likely to be read at each point of sale, stating the following:

 

STATE LAW STRICTLY PROHIBITS THE SALE
OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS OR SMOKING PARAPHERNALIA
TO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS
PROOF OF AGE MAY BE REQUIRED

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1506: Required postings

 

The General Assembly intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of tobacco products. Any law or regulation of tobacco products enacted or promulgated after March 15, 1994, by any agency or political subdivision of the state or any agency thereof is void.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1551: Purpose of part; exemptions; authority to prohibit smoking

Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.

 

Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/ProtectingKidsfromTobacco/RegsRestrictingSale/UCM265540.pdf

 

 

In Tennessee, it is illegal to distribute tobacco product samples in or on any public street, sidewalk, or park.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1504(c): Sale or distribution to minors unlawful; proof of age requirement

 

Distribution of tobacco product samples is subject to tax and licensing requirements, as “sale” includes any sale, use, transfer, exchange, barter, gift, or offer for sale and distribution, in any manner or by any means whatsoever.

 

Tenn. Code. § 67-4-1001(19)

 

The General Assembly intends to occupy and preempt the entire field of legislation concerning the regulation of tobacco products. Any law or regulation of tobacco products enacted or promulgated after March 15, 1994, by any agency or political subdivision of the state or any agency thereof is void.

 

Tenn. Code. § 39-17-1551: Purpose of part; exemptions; authority to prohibit smoking

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