Editorial: Who’s Blowing Smoke About Secondhand Smoke?

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Posted by . See more posts about: Secondhand Smoke, Smoke Free Policy

THE MOREHEAD NEWS | NOVEMBER 21, 2014

Why is it that 65 percent of the citizens of Kentucky say they support a comprehensive, statewide, smoke-free workplace law but it still hasn’t happened?

Further, nearly 90 percent of the members of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce say they favor such a law to protect everyone’s right to breathe clean, smoke-free air.

So why has it been so difficult to protect millions of Kentucky workers from harmful secondhand smoke, improve their health and reduce health care costs for everyone?

The Smoke-Free Kentucky coalition – more than 500 health, business and community groups – is gearing up to make another push for such a law in the upcoming 2015 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

The effort began last week in Lexington when hundreds of supporters gathered to show their support of making Kentucky smoke-free as a priority of the legislative session.

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, state commissioner of public health, added her voice to those pleading for a healthier environment at work and in places of public accommodation.

Legislative bills to achieve a smoke-free state have been introduced in the House during the last four sessions and the Senate had such a bill in the 2014 session.

Lawmakers say privately that certain types of retail businesses claim their sales will suffer with a smoke-free law and their customers will go elsewhere.

How can that be true if the entire state goes smoke-free?

 We Kentuckians like to be No. 1 but that ranking should not be a source of pride when it says we have the highest percentage of smokers and the greatest number of persons with lung cancer.

“Live free or die” is the state motto of New Hampshire.

With what we already know about the dangers of secondhand smoke, failure to pass this law in Kentucky could bring us a new motto – “smoke-free or die.”

Read the article online.