For many musicians in the State of Tennessee, playing daily, weekly or monthly gigs in bars is a means of survival and steady income. Many of these establishments have a 21+ over status which allows for smoking in the entirety of the enclosed space- with no regulations for any sort of ventilation. At the risk of biting the hand that (literally) feeds us, we respectfully plead with the State of TN to abolish the loopholes that allow smoking in 21+over establishments- not only for us but also for the sake of the health of all employees and patrons. Many of us are second and third generation Tennessee musicians who have lost grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters to cancer. The evidence is clear that second hand smoke can, and in fact does, cause cancer. As working musicians, our hands are tied as there are limited number of venues for us to work at and make a living in. This is our vocation, our occupation, our legitimate craft, and we want a safe environment in which to do our jobs. To be clear- we don't want to hurt, or remotely put a dent in, the business/revenue at any of the venues we work in, many of the owners and managers are our friends and are truly wonderful benefactors of the arts- we therefore ask that the playing field is leveled and request that as soon as possible smoking is banned from ALL indoor spaces in the State of TN, unless enclosed completely separate smoking areas can be provided.
Many TN musicians and entertainers tour the country and the world- and are disheartened that our health is put at risk by the antiquated smoking laws that our home state holds in place- especially when the vast majority of states have long done away with this health hazard.
The arts are a critical part of what makes our beloved State of Tennessee great, please don't sit idly by while many potential future icons and legends receive an early death sentence whilst merely trying to eek out a living.