smoking

Politics/Health
3:05 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Lawmakers to Again Attempt to Get Kentucky Smoking Ban Passed

Two Louisville lawmakers will again attempt to get a statewide smoking ban passed.

Representative Susan Westrom and Senator-elect Julie Racque-Adams have tried--and failed—to get such a ban through the past four legislative sessions.

Westrom, a House Democrat, blamed members of her own party’s leadership after a smoking ban failed to receive a floor vote in the chamber during the 2014 General Assembly.

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Health
3:50 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Beshear Extends Smoking Ban to All State Property

Some 33,000 state workers in Kentucky will be impacted by the new smoking policy.

Tobacco and e-cigarettes will soon be banned from many Kentucky state properties under the executive cabinet. The new policy announced by Governor Beshear  Thursday covers  state buildings, vehicles and other designated locations.

The announcement adds onto previous legislation aimed solely at cigarettes. Beshear said his executive order aims to combat Kentucky’s number one ranking in cancer and smoking deaths.

“You know, this year is the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. Surgeon General’s report alerting Americans to the deadly consequences of smoking. That’s five decades. Five decades of warnings," Beshear said.

"But warnings by themselves, as we know, are not enough.”

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Regional
3:01 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

American Lung Association Report Gives Kentucky Low Marks

Kentucky received straight Fs on the 2014 “State of Tobacco Control” report published Wednesday by the American Lung Association.  The study looked at four areas including creating a smoke free environment, cigarette taxes, insurance coverage for cessation programs and tobacco prevention.

Ellen Kershaw with the American Lung Association – Kentucky says tobacco education programs that have had success across the country have been underfunded by state lawmakers in Frankfort.  

“Media campaigns, in-school programs, county health education and outreach. Across the board, there’s so much more that Kentucky can do,” said Kershaw.

The study found that 28 percent of Kentuckians smoke and nearly a quarter of the state’s high school students are tobacco users.  Kershaw says the American Lung Association also supports a higher cigarette tax in Kentucky.

“That’s another effective tool, that unfortunately, hasn’t been implemented yet here in Kentucky,” said Kershaw. “We would definitely advocate for at least a dollar increase in the cigarette tax as a way to encourage kids not to pick up the habit and also for people to quit smoking.”

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Politics/Health
9:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Bullitt Fiscal Court Passes Local Smoking Ban Covering County Buildings

About one-third of Kentucky is covered by some kind of local smoking ban.

The Bullitt County Fiscal Court is giving its approval to a plan that would bar smoking on county-owned property. Still unsolved, however, is a lawsuit against the county Board of Health over a regulation it passed in 2011 that outlaws smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants.

According to the Courier-Journal, Bullitt Fiscal Court and eight cities in the county sued the Board of Health, saying the body doesn’t have the power to enact such rule changes.

That lawsuit is currently before the state Supreme Court.

The ban passed by the county fiscal court Wednesday doesn’t cover all work and public places, only select facilities owned by the county.

Two Kentucky state lawmakers are sponsoring a bill at the General Assembly that would create a statewide smoking ban.

A recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that a majority of Kentuckians support a statewide smoking ban.

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Politics/Health
1:32 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Statewide Smoking Ban Put Forth by Bipartisan Duo of Kentucky Lawmakers

Two Kentucky lawmakers plan to file bills that would create a statewide smoking ban—an idea supported by Governor Steve Beshear.

The smoking ban measures are being championed by a bipartisan duo: Democratic Representative Susan Westrom of Lexington and Republican Senator Julie Denton of Louisville. The lawmakers point out that January marks the 50th anniversary of the first-ever report from the U.S. Surgeon General on smoking and health. That report is credited with helping to change public attitudes on the dangers of smoking.

Several Kentucky towns have passed ordinances that don’t allow smoking at work or public places. But supporters point out that nearly two-thirds of the commonwealth remains uncovered by such a ban.

Opponents say individual businesses should be able to determine whether or not they allow smoking on their premises.

Gov. Beshear voiced his support for a comprehensive ban during his “State of the Commonwealth” address Tuesday.

Health
5:23 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Head of UK's Markey Cancer Center Weighs in on E-Cigarettes

Dr. Mark Evers
Credit University of Kentucky

The director of the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center says electronic cigarettes are “quite harmful”.  Dr. Mark Evers was answering questioned posed to him by lawmakers on the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee.  

Dr. Evers says current research on e-cigs indicate that they may be  “every bit as dangerous” as smoking tobacco.  E-cigarettes deliver a vaporized solution that may or may not contain nicotine.  Members of the committee say they’re trying to gauge the health impact of e-cigarettes because some local jails provide the devices to inmates at cost. 

Part of the funding for the research comes from the 1998 tobacco settlement with 46 states including Kentucky.

Health
11:30 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Southern Kentucky Town Passes Smoking Ban

Officials in a southern Kentucky city have decided to ban smoking.

The Times-Tribune reports Williamsburg City Council gave final approval on Monday to an ordinance that bans smoking in most public places, including restaurants, bars, pool halls and public areas of hotels and apartment buildings.

Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said he is a former smoker, but the duty of officials is to "protect everybody."

The ordinance gives employers 30 days to inform workers about the smoking ban.

Health
4:24 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Kentucky Researcher Urges "Third Way" for Nation's Smokers

Brad Rodu says it's time for the public health community to re-think how it looks at the smoking debate in this country.  Rodu is head of the Tobacco Harm Reduction effort at the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center. He says for too long the smoking issue has come down to an all-or-nothing wager: smokers are told they either have to give up cigarettes, or keep smoking and die.

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Science
7:58 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Study Says Air Quality in Bowling Green has Improved

TSI Sidepak, used to monitor indoor air quality
WKU Public Radio

A new study indicates that air quality in Bowling Green Hospitality venues has improved since a smoke-free ordinance took effect last spring. The new study, which was funded by the Kentucky Cancer Consortium and the Barren River Area Health Department, found an 83 percent decline in indoor air pollution since the smoke-free ordinance was established.

Ten hospitality venues were monitored in the study, using a device called a TSI Sidepak. That device monitored air quality every sixty seconds in the venues included in the report.

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