Congratulations to the Great State of Tennessee..

June 1, 2007 - Congratulations to the Great State of Tennessee - Tennessee will probably become the first major tobacco-growing state to pass a comprehensive smoke-free-workplace law. Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, proposed the ban in February 2007. He plans to sign the bill into law, despite his original push for a stricter ban. The ban will take effect in October. Tennessee would become the 22nd state to adopt a statewide workplace ban. Another hit for smokers may come when they buy cigarettes. The Tennessee Senate voted on Thursday (5/31/2007)to raise the state cigarette tax by 42 cents, two cents more than the governor proposed. (At present the tax is 20 cents a pack, 48th lowest in the nation.) Smoking in a prohibited area would be a misdemeanor crime, punishable by a fine of $50 to $350. 26.8% of Tennessee's adults smoke, 3rd highest rate in the nation, making Tennessee one of the least healthy. This translates into $2 billion in health-care costs annually as a result of cigarette smoking. Fire-cured tobacco grown in Kentucky and Tennessee is used in moist snuff.