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Poll Shows Steady Support for Smoke-Free Law in Kentucky

PHOTO: A new poll shows support remains steady with two-thirds of Kentucky adults in favor of a a statewide, indoor smoke-free law. Photo courtesy Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
PHOTO: A new poll shows support remains steady with two-thirds of Kentucky adults in favor of a a statewide, indoor smoke-free law. Photo courtesy Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
January 6, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Support for a statewide indoor smoke-free law remains steady according to new poll results, with two out of three Kentuckians supporting a ban.

This is the fifth year the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the group Interact for Health has surveyed Kentuckians on the idea of prohibiting smoking in workplaces, public buildings, restaurants and bars.

Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, says 66 percent of Kentucky adults support a smoke-free law, while 29 percent remain opposed.

"It's hit a level where you can clearly say the majority of Kentuckians, the majority of Democrats, majority of Republicans, majority of Kentuckians in each geographic area of the state would like to see a smoke-free law," says Zepeda.

When Kentuckians were first polled on the matter in 2010 they were evenly split, with 48 percent in support of the measure, and 48 percent opposed.

Zepeda says she's encouraged that even 40 percent of current smokers favor a law against smoking indoors.

"They're willing to go stand outside or forgo smoking inside a building to protect the health of others around them," she says.

Zepeda adds that poll results are "an important reminder" to lawmakers that there is bi-partisan support on the issue.

Ellen Hahn, director of the Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy, says it is now up to the political leaders to "do the right thing."

"If we can convince the legislature this is a way to save lives and save money, which it is, hopefully they'll wake up and say 'look, let's do what the popular thing is in Kentucky,'" says Hahn. "And that is to protect everyone."

A smoke-free bill has already been pre-filed in the Kentucky House. Lawmakers return to Frankfort Tuesday to begin the organizational portion of their 2015 session.

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY