Group Continues to Spread Smoke-Free Message

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WUKY | KAREN CZAR | JULY 30, 2014

A statewide campaign to make Kentucky smoke-free made a stop and their case in Lexington today.

The Smoke-Free Kentucky Coalition is driving their message across the state.  Their goal…to pass a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free law that covers all indoor workplaces and public places.  Dr. Ellen Hann directs the Kentucky Center for Smoke Free Policy and serves on the leadership team for ‘Smoke Free Kentucky’.  She says the bluegrass state, which is one of the highest producing tobacco states in the country, is at the top of another list.  “Kentucky leads the nation in lung cancer.  We’re tired of being number one.  We’d rather be number one in basketball and not be number one in heart disease and cancer and stroke.”

Hann, who is also a professor at the University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing, points to positive numbers in communities that have implemented smoke free ordinances as a reason for Legislatures to pass a statewide ban.  “We have seen amazing things.  Reductions in smoking right off the bat.  Reductions in heart attacks, about a 15% reduction in heart attacks in the first year after a community goes smoke free.  22% fewer hospitalizations for emphysema in smoke free communities that are comprehensive, meaning 100% smoke free in every workplace.”

Wednesday’s stop brought the ‘Smoke Free Kentucky’ tour to UK’s Markey Cancer Center.  Hann said they’ll be making several stops across state, ending at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic this Saturday.