KY Bans Tobacco Use on State Property

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KFVS | AMBER RUCH | NOVEMBER 19, 2014

Kentucky has banned the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes on executive branch state property, effective on Nov. 20.

Gov. Steve Beshear announced the tobacco-free policy on Sept. 4, pointing to Kentucky’s high rankings in smoking and cancer deaths.

Kentucky has the highest rate among all states of adult smokers and the sixth-highest rate of youth smoking. It also leads the nation in cancer deaths.

Kentucky is the fifth state to make such a policy.

As the largest single employer in Kentucky, the state’s tobacco-free policy will affect about 33,000 state workers, as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors to state offices and properties.

All executive branch buildings are currently smoke-free, the new policy updates that to include all tobacco products and executive branch state property.

This means no cigarettes, tobacco products or e-cigarettes may be used in state-owned or leased buildings, in state-owned vehicles or on state property.

All state office buildings, parking lots, sidewalks and green space on state grounds are included in the ban.

Tobacco users will have to leave the property to smoke or use other tobacco products.

Temporary signs were posted throughout the implementation period.

Permanent signs and building stickers were placed at the driveway entrances of major executive branch buildings declaring the property tobacco-free.

Several properties initially received a partial exemption to the policy:

  • State parks, the Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky State Fairgrounds, Bluegrass Station, wildlife management areas, state rest areas, Military Affairs training centers and armories: These facilities were smoke-free indoors and under the new policy, become tobacco-free indoors. Visitors and staff will continue to be able to use tobacco on the outdoor grounds. The outdoor areas of armories managed or operated by the Department of Military Affairs are exempt from this order only during those time periods when the facilities are rented by third parties.
  • Certain state residential health facilities: Residential facilities run by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), as well as residents at the state’s three veteran’s centers, are tobacco-free under the new policy. However, the Secretary of CHFS and the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs will be given the authority and flexibility to put in place tobacco-free plans that take into consideration the special needs of existing residents. A fourth veterans center under construction in Radcliff is scheduled to open in 2015 as a tobacco-free campus, both indoors and outdoors. Residents or their families should inquire with facility administrators for further information.

During the implementation period, more properties were granted limited exemptions:

  • The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center and Charles McDowell Rehabilitation Center, residential facilities: These facilities, operated under the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet will eventually go tobacco-free. However, the secretary of that cabinet will be given the authority and flexibility to put in place tobacco-free plans that take into consideration the special needs of the residents and special considerations of the locations.
  • The Kentucky International Convention Center: Visitors and staff will continue to be able to use tobacco and e-cigarettes on the outdoor grounds.
  • The Frankfort Convention Center and Fountain Place Shoppes: Visitors and staff will continue to be able to use tobacco and e-cigarettes on the outdoor grounds. This includes the parking garage under the Capital Plaza Hotel and the parking garage under the YMCA.
  • The Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Kentucky Military History Museum and the Old State Capitol: Under the new policy, these locations will go tobacco-free indoors, but allow tobacco usage outdoors when the facilities are being rented by a third party that is not a state agency.
  • The FFA Leadership Development Center: Housed under the Kentucky Department of Education, the facility will not allow the use of tobacco indoors or outdoors by students or staff at any time. However, when the facility is being rented by a third party, tobacco use will be allowed outdoors (except by students or staff).

You can click here for more information about the policy.

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