Calls for a Smoke-Free Kentucky Grow

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THE LANE REPORT | JANUARY 7, 2015

Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) shows favor for a smoke-free state.

Since 2010, the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP), sponsored by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, has reported Kentucky adults’ views about a statewide, smoke-free law. Support for a state law in Kentucky that would prohibit smoking in most public places remains steady. In 2014, nearly 7-in-10 Kentucky adults (66%) favored this type of law, while nearly 3-in-10 opposed the law (29%).

Support across all political parties is solid with 68% of Democrats, 67% of Republicans and 64% of Independents supporting a statewide smoke-free law. Not surprisingly, the highest support was among non-smokers and those considered “healthiest.” Of Kentucky adults who have never smoked, 8-in-10 favored a smoke-free law, while 7-in-10 former smokers also support it; four-in-10 current Kentucky adult current favored a smoke-free law.

In addition, Kentucky adults who reported better health status were more likely to favor a statewide smoke-free law in Kentucky. 75% of Kentucky adults who reported excellent or very good health favored such a law; 65% with good health and 55% with fair or poor health favored the law.

The highest levels of support for a statewide law were in two areas of Kentucky that have had long-standing local smoke-free ordinances. As to overall views, 75% of adults in Lexington and 74% Louisville area adults favored the law. Majorities in Western (65%), Northern (63%) and Eastern (54%) Kentucky also favored a statewide smoke-free law.

Laws that provide for smoke-free indoor air in workplaces, restaurants and bars are called comprehensive laws. In the United States, 26 states and the District of Columbia have such laws1; Kentucky does not.

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