A recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that a majority of Kentuckians support a statewide smoking ban.
The poll released Thursday from the non-profit Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky shows 65% of Kentucky adults favor a statewide smoke-free law. The new numbers are up six points from last year, and 17 points from four years ago.
Opponents of the measure are concerned the law would infringe on the rights of private business owners. Foundation President Susan Zepeda says the issue isn’t political and that a state ban on smoking in public areas wouldn’t end up hurting business owners.
“That question of a particular business that might not want to make the policy unilaterally, just as their own business, for fear that it would drive customers to the business down the street, but if the entire state had a smoke-free policy, it would level that playing field for all the businesses," suggests Zepeda.
Of surrounding states, only Missouri and West Virginia have no ban in place, while Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia have some form of statewide anti-smoking laws.
Democratic Representative Susan Westrom of Lexington says she will try for a third time to get a ban for Kentucky through the 2014 General Assembly session beginning this month.