The Smoke-Free Tennessee coalition on Wednesday launched a major public initiative to make all Tennessee workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free to protect all Tennessee workers and the public from the serious health hazards of secondhand smoke.
The campaign in support of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s smoke-free workplace legislation kicks off April 2 with a rally at Legislative Plaza and a statewide tour involving First Lady Andrea Conte, Commissioner of Health Susan Cooper and a broad coalition of supporters, officials said.
The tour will travel to numerous Tennessee cities "to build awareness about the dangers of secondhand smoke as a leading cause of lung cancer and heart disease and other serious respiratory illnesses that kills more than 1,000 non-smoking Tennesseans each year."
Ms. Conte said, “As the U.S. Surgeon General said last year – the debate is over, the science is clear. Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard that causes premature death and disease in children and non-smoking adults. I am proud to be part of an effort that will have such a critical and positive impact on the health of Tennesseans.”
The tour begins Monday, April 2, at 10 a.m. at War Memorial Plaza at the Tennessee State Capitol. It continues in Memphis on April 5 at 11 a.m., at the Rendezvous restaurant; and in Knoxville and Tri-Cities on April 9. Other cities will be announced in April.
In addition to the tour, Smoke-Free Tennessee announced the launch of a new website – www.itsakiller.com, which includes "information on the devastating effects of secondhand smoke; already today, hundreds of Tennesseans have used the site to voice support for smoke-free workplace legislation with their legislators."
“With many states having already taken action to protect everyone from the serious health harms of secondhand smoke, it’s now time for Tennessee to do the right thing to protect the health of its people,” said Shelby Logsdon, executive director for Campaign for a Healthy and Responsible Tennessee (CHART). “This campaign is going to turn up the volume of the thousands of Tennesseans who are ready to breathe clean air everywhere they go because it is important to the health of all Tennessee workers and families.”
Smoke-Free Tennessee is comprised of CHART and more than partner organizations dedicated to creating smoke-free workplaces for all Tennesseans.