Tennessee Senate approves smoking ban for state buildings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Senate today voted unanimously to ban smoking in state-owed and operated buildings.

The ban would make lighting up illegal in 528 buildings the state runs -- 172 of them owned by the government.

The House hasn't voted on the measure.

Smoking bills have traditionally struggled in Tennessee, which is among the nation's top tobacco producers.

Senate sponsor Roy Herron of Dresden told his colleagues the bill would promote a healthy work environment.

Senator Jeff Miller of Cleveland says he hopes its a first step toward curbing smoking in restaurants.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)