Saturday, January 28, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

KY Senate Green-Lights Bill to Raise Tobacco-Buying Age to 21


Monday, January 27, 2020   

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The bill aims to reduce access to e-cigarettes among teens and young adults.

While Kentucky brings in more than $500 million a year from tobacco sales, Ben Chandler, president and CEO of Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, says only around $3 million is budgeted for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts. He says the state needs to work harder to stop the next generation from becoming hooked on nicotine.

"Vaping products are considered tobacco products and consequently, they would be under this law," he points out. "And we've seen an epidemic in the use of those products by young people."

The bill is sponsored by Republican Sens. Ralph Alvarado of Winchester and Danny Carroll of Paducah.

According to a 2019 survey, 53% of high school students in the Commonwealth have tried e-cigarettes. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

Chandler adds passing Senate Bill 56 would also help the state comply with a new federal law, known as the Tobacco-Free Youth Act, that raises the national minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21. He says at least 19 states already have passed similar legislation.

"Studies have shown that if you raise the age to 21, middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, are much less likely to get hold of those products," Chandler points out.

The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services says more than 8,000 Kentuckians die of tobacco-related illnesses each year.

The agency also estimates that annual health care costs for treating people with smoking related diseases tops $1.2 billion.

Disclosure: Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Health Issues, Smoking Prevention, Youth Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…

Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …

From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…


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