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Health Department

Tobacco Control Initiative in Davidson County

The Prevention & Wellness Division has initiated a comprehensive effort to reduce tobacco use by youth and to increase the number of smoke-free public places and work places in Nashville.  For more information, call the Prevention and Wellness Division at (615) 340-5334 or

Annual Smoke-free events

Great American SmokeOut: (GASO) was established by The American Cancer Society (ACS) in 1977 to educate the public on the dangers associated with tobacco use and to encourage smokers to quit for a lifetime by starting with just one day. The event is held annually on the third Thursday of November. MPHD has partnered with local churches, Metropolitan Housing Development Agency (MDHA) and the Metro Public Health Department’s Youth Advisory Board to plan and implement Nashville’s Great American SmokeOut (GASO) event.

Kick Butts Day: Kick Butts Day (KBD) was started by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) as an annual event held in the spring to promote youth advocacy on tobacco issues. It's a day for youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control in the fight against tobacco by raising awareness about tobacco—how it harms our health and how Big Tobacco targets kids—and supporting strong tobacco control policies.  If you would like more information about Kick Butts Day, please visit the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids KBD page at

World No Tobacco Day: World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is a World Health Organization event held on May 31st every year that informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations If you would like more information about World No Tobacco Day, please visit the World Health Organization’s Tobacco page.

Faith Based Tobacco Initiative Information

A tobacco-free environment creates safe and healthy places, eliminating congregants’ exposure to secondhand smoke.  Additionally, tobacco-free environments have been shown to encourage those that use tobacco to reduce or quit tobacco use.

Goals of Faith Based Tobacco Initiative:

  • To increase tobacco prevention among faith based organizations through policy development in order to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Provide trainings for selected congregants to become Tobacco Prevention Health Ambassadors
  • Lower the tobacco use prevalence rate among congregants in faith based organizations

Tobacco Settlement Program

The Tobacco Settlement Program is funded by the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.  The Master Settlement Agreement requires the major tobacco companies to pay approximately $25 million annually for ten years.  The funds are used for advertisement and education to address youth tobacco use and to educate consumers about the cause and prevention of disease associate with tobacco use.

The Prevention & Wellness Division has initiated a comprehensive effort to reduce tobacco use by youth, increase the number of multi-unit housing to become smoke free, and work with local clinicians who serve pediatrics to reduce second hand smoke exposure in homes and cars.    

The Tobacco Settlement Initiatives

  • Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU)
    The American Lung Association educates and engage teens who are interested in making a difference in their community again Big Tobacco and tobacco’s advertising geared towards teens and young adults.  80% of smokers begin smoking by their 18th birthday.  By working with teens to increase awareness and petition for stricter tobacco laws, we can impact our future and that of loved ones.  We seek to unite against tobacco companies, not smokers.  The Metro Public Health Department will be the lead agent for the Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) Program that was developed by the American Lung Association.
  • Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) is a peer teaching tobacco prevention program that allows students to mentor youngsters about the dangers of smoking.  A mandatory all day training and additional trainings are required to become a peer educator. Each peer educator is responsible for completing a minimum of 10 sessions.
  • Smoke Free Multi-Unit Housing Campaign
    Approximately 40 million Americans live in multi-unit housing properties, which account for 31.5 percent of all housing units in the United States. In Davidson County, 37.2% of housing structure is multi-unit.  The home is a major source of secondhand smoke exposure to both adults and children.  Eliminating indoor smoking is the only way to protect non-smokers from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.  For residents of multi-unit housing (e.g., apartment buildings and condominiums), secondhand smoke can be a major concern and migrate from other units and common areas and travel through doorways, cracks in walls, electrical lines, plumbing, and ventilation systems

    It is our goal to work together with landlords, tenants, and the community to voluntarily increase the number of smoke-free multi-unit housing properties in Nashville/Davidson County.
  • Clinicians Efforts Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure (CEASE)
    Exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful to children.  Child healthcare clinicians are in a unique and important position to address smoking because of the regular, multiple contacts with families and the harmful health consequences to their patients.

    The CEASE Initiative will target clinicians who provide care to small children.  

Want to Stop Smoking?

Tennessee Tobacco Quitline
1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
Callers to the Quitline can receive a free tobacco quit kit, work with a free quit coach, and learn to deal with their cravings and challenges. For more information about the Quitline:

Nicotine Anonymous (NICA)
A Twelve Step Program of Recovery. Meetings take place in Nashville.

Helpful Tobacco Websites

Tobacco Facts

Facts About Youth Smoking

  • 90% of smokers start before the age of 19. (, 2008)
  • Twenty-three percent of high school students in the United States are current cigarette smokers—23% of females and 22.9% of males. (, 2008)
  • Approximately 26% of whites, 22% of Hispanics, and 13% of African Americans in high school are current cigarette smokers. (, 2008)
  • Tobacco use in adolescence is associated with many other health risk behaviors, including higher risk sexual behavior and use of alcohol or other drugs. (, 2008)

Davidson County Youth Smoking Rates

  • 21.3% of Davidson County youth report being current tobacco users. (2007 Youth Risk Behavior Survey).
  • 30% of Davidson County youth reported buying their last pack of cigarettes at a gas station or convenience store. 63.6% were not asked for proof of age when purchasing cigarettes. (2004 Youth Tobacco Survey)
  • 59.5% of youth smokers reported “wanting to quit. However, 61.2% of youth reported being unaware of smoking cessation programs available in their school or community. (2004 Youth Tobacco Survey)
  • 54.1% Davidson County youth reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. (2004 Youth Tobacco Survey)
  • 112 incidences of tobacco use in Davidson County School system of elementary and middle school students during the 2013-2014 school year.

Facts About Adult Smoking

  • Tobacco is the only "consumer product" which when used exactly as the manufacturer intends, causes disease, disability and death.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Nashville and the United States.
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates more than 430,000 Americans die of smoking-related causes each year – accounting for one out of every five deaths.

Davidson County Adult Smoking Rates

  • 19.3% of adults in Davidson County are tobacco users which is lower than the state average of 22.0%. The national average is 18.3%. (2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, BRFSS)
  • According to the Health, Nashville, 2002 report issued by the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD), four out of the top five causes of death for Davidson County residents are related to smoking: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory disease.