Kentucky To Ban Tobacco On Government Property

It might not surprise most people to hear that Kentucky is the second biggest tobacco producer of all fifty United States. That’s not a judgment; it just feels like it makes the most sense. What may be surprising, however, is that the state has just banned all of use tobacco products on just about all government properties.
Somehow that also makes a lot of sense. Think about it.

“Smoking and tobacco use are the single-biggest causes of preventable illness and death in our state,” said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, who signed the executive order in Frankfort, the state capital, on Thursday. He continues, “This policy will protect non-smokers from the effects of secondhand smoke, and encourage tobacco users to seek help in quitting.” He hopes that over the next five years the order will help reduce the percentage of Kentucky residents who use tobacco.

The order will take effect on November 20, which coincides with the Great American Smokeout. That’s an annual observation started by the American Cancer Society to encourage everyone to be smoke free, even if it is for just one day. And Beshar would also continue to support a more comprehensive smoke-free workplace bill within the state legislature if there was enough support.

While the order does not affect highway rest areas or state parks or fairgrounds or other selected locations it will still affect more than 33,000 state employees, 5,000 of which use tobacco products on a regular basis. Of course, it will also affect hundreds of thousands of annual visitors.

This order might also affect 28 percent of Kentucky’s adult population. That’s how many smokers live in this state. And it’s the highest percentage of smokers across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By the way, North Carolina is the No. 1 tobacco-producing state.

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1 Comment on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kevin September 5, 2014 at 11:25 am -

    I’ll guarantee you the “fine people” who wrote and voted for this publicity campaign don’t smoke. Want to see something good? Look at the report NIH put saying that “secondhand smoke” is basically harmless.