New ordinance aims to ban smoking in Nashville bars

New ordinance aims to ban smoking in Nashville bars

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Some Metro Council members are working to pass an ordinance that would prohibit smoking cigarettes and vapes in bars.

The non-smoking bill will have it’s first reading at the Metro Council meeting on Tuesday, August 2.

Council members who are introducing the legislation say smoking needs to be banned from bars to protect the musicians, bartenders, and waiters who work in bars that still allow smoking.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), secondhand smoke causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year for non-smokers.

Council Member Ginny Welsch says if this non-smoking ordinance becomes law, bars will have to hang up ‘no smoking’ signs and make sure all their customers follow that rule.

“Enforcement would come in the same way not serving alcohol to people who are 21 would come up,” Welsch said. “…people would come in and just make sure this law is being followed and if it’s not, you would be cited for that. That’s what I would imagine. As we go through more discussions with this in council there might be other things we come up with, but that’s how I imagine the enforcement to be.”

Welsch is preparing to hear from people on this non-smoking ordinance. She said similar laws have been passed in other states and have proven to help shield people from secondhand smoke without hurting business owners.

“They have found no negative impact on whether or not restaurants and bars survive openings and closings, Welsch explained. “In fact, they have all increased probably because there is widespread support for these types of smoking bans and people are more comfortable and want to go to restaurants and bars that are non-smoking, so they aren’t putting their health at risk when they go to just have a night out on the town.”

This law would not affect cigar bars, or other places where smoking is a part of their business.

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