Tennessee Smoking: What you need to know

The Non-Smokers Protection Act prohibits smoking in most enclosed public places, including public and private workplaces, public and private educational institutions, stores, healthcare and mental health facilities, child care and adult day care facilities, stores and malls, theaters and sporting venues, public transportation vehicles and their related facilities, and restaurants, including bars within restaurants (TN Code Sec. 39-17-1801 et seq.).

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Workplaces. The term "workplace" includes common-use areas such as lobbies, restrooms, break rooms and cafeterias, and elevators and hallways.

Private businesses with three or fewer employees may, at the discretion of the business owner, allow smoking in a separately ventilated enclosed room not accessible to the public.

Outdoor areas. Nonenclosed areas of public places and workplaces, such as decks, patios, porches, and areas enclosed by garage-type doors that are open, are exempt from the smoking ban as long as smoke from the area is not capable of entering enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited.

Breaks. Tennessee does not require employers to provide smoking breaks for employees.

Communication. All existing and prospective employees must be notified that smoking is prohibited in the workplace through means such as job applications, employee handbooks, and notices on bulletin boards.

Signage. "No Smoking" signs or signs bearing the international no-smoking symbol must be posted conspicuously at every entrance to and throughout a public place where smoking is prohibited under the Act.


Exempt from the provisions of the Act are:

  • Nonenclosed areas of public buildings, such as open-air patios, decks, or areas with garage-type doors when they are open, or ...

>> Read more about Smoking

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