Car smoking ban bill fails in Tennessee Senate

Politics

PARIS – JANUARY 31: An unidentified man smokes a cigarette in the street outside his office on January 31, 2007 in Paris, France. France introduces a smoking ban in public places from February 1, 2007. Bars, restaurants, hotels and night clubs will follow from January 1, 2008. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  A bill that would have barred adults in Tennessee from smoking in a vehicle with children appears dead for the year after lawmakers voiced concerns that it gave the government too much power over citizen freedoms.

The measure failed to clear the Senate Wednesday.

The bill was sponsored by Knoxville Republican Sen. Richard Briggs. It would have made it an offense to smoke in a vehicle with children under the age of 14, regardless of whether the windows in the car were rolled down.

Briggs cited the dangers of smoke to children in a confined space as small as a vehicle. But some lawmakers questioned whether it was too much of an overreach. Sparta Republican Sen. Paul Bailey said lawmakers couldn’t legislate the morality of Tennesseans.

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