smoking

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.

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.

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.

Southern Kentucky Town Passes Smoking Ban

Feb 13, 2013

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.

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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