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The Tennessee Attorney General has opined that the county legislative body has the authority to prohibit smoking in county public buildings.[1] In the absence of such a prohibition, it would be left to the discretion of the individual officeholder as to whether to allow smoking in the office, but most workplaces are moving toward a smoke-free environment. Employees who smoke may be required to do so only at specified times and in specified places.

State law protects employees who use tobacco products from being discharged from employment solely because they use tobacco products, as long as the employee complies with all of the employer’s policies regarding the use of tobacco products during working hours. T.C.A. § 50-1-304. This law does not, however, prohibit an employer from refusing to hire someone who uses tobacco products.

[1]  Op. Tenn. Att’y Gen. 97-058 (4/29/97), U96-075 (12/3/96) and U89-103 (9/8/89); see also Op. Tenn. Att’y Gen. 88-73 (3/25/88).