A recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that a majority of Kentuckians support a statewide smoking ban.
The poll released today (January 2) from the non-profit Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky shows 65 percent of Kentucky adults favor a statewide smoke-free law. The new numbers are up 6 points from last year, and 17 points from four years ago.
Opponents of the measure, like Jim Waters of the Bluegrass Institute, are concerned the law would infringe on the rights of private business owners. Foundation President Susan Zepeda says the issue isn’t political and that a state ban on smoking in public areas wouldn’t end up hurting business owners.
“That question of a particular business that might not want to make the policy unilaterally, just as their own business, for fear that it would drive customers to the business down the street, but if the entire state had a smoke-free policy, it would level that playing field for all the businesses.” -- Susan Zepeda
Of the immediate states surrounding Kentucky, only Missouri and West Virginia have no ban in place, while Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia have some form of statewide anti-smoking law.
Democratic State Representative Susan Westrom says she will try for a third time to get a ban for Kentucky through the 2014 General Assembly session beginning this month.