Friday, January 28, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

KY Communities Continue Push for Local Tobacco Control

Play

Monday, December 20, 2021   

State lawmakers are expected to file a tobacco-control bill next year. Healthcare advocacy groups and local elected officials say communities must have the right to implement their own, stronger smoke-free protections.

Since 1996, Kentucky and a dozen other states have enacted so-called preemption laws, which bar cities and counties from deciding how tobacco products are marketed, sold and distributed at the local level.

Meanwhile, more than one third of Kentucky students report the pandemic has increased their use of e-cigarettes and vapes. McCracken County high school student Katharine Morrison said she sees her friends relying on tobacco to cope with stress and isolation during the COVID-19 crisis.

"I feel like people used it more because they were depressed and they thought that it was helping them," said Morrison.

Kentucky's rates of tobacco use are among the highest in the nation, and lawmakers have responded by implementing a statewide tobacco-free school policy, increasing tobacco taxes and raising the legal minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.

The tobacco and vaping industries and some retailers continue to oppose local control, arguing it hurts sales and independent businesses.

Mayor of Prestonsburg Les Stapleton said he'd like the opportunity to implement measures to reduce smoking and improve the health of residents in his community.

"And I understand that a lot of laws have to be statewide," said Stapleton. "But it's a lot easier for some communities to be able to govern themselves on some issues."

State Sen. Paul Hornback - R-Shelbyville - said nicotine addiction will continue to be a costly public health issue if the cycle of tobacco use among young kids isn't stopped.

"And they're getting their hands on them in some way and go out and resell them to other kids," said Hornback. "There needs to be better control on that, you know. The flavors and everything else need to be eliminated."

In its "2022 Blueprint for Kentucky's Children," the group Kentucky Youth Advocates calls on the state to allow city and county governments to regulate the display, sale and distribution of tobacco products.

According to state data, last year, tobacco and e-cigarette companies spent more than $788,000 lobbying Kentucky lawmakers.




get more stories like this via email
Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …


Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Social Issues

South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …


Older Washingtonians take more prescription drugs on average and so are disproportionately affected by rising drug costs. (kmiragaya/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …

Environment

The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…

The new grants are via the 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital program, which also calls for $25 billion to repair roads and bridges. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021