Support is growing among Kentuckians for a statewide smoke-free law, according to a new poll by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that 71 percent of Kentuckians favor a comprehensive smoke-free workplace law, an increase of 5 percent in just the past year.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky is 50th in the nation in the number of adult smokers (29% of the population). Smoking-attributable health expenditures are estimated at more than $1.5 billion annually in Kentucky, including over $700 million Medicaid tax-payer dollars, while smoking-attributable economic productivity loss is estimated at more than $2.3 billion each year in the state.
The Chamber has long been a vocal supporter of enacting a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law that prohibits smoking in indoor workplaces and public places, including restaurants, bars and hotels. Thirty-three percent of Kentucky’s population and 28 states and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws that have proven to curb smoking rates and lower health care costs without negatively affecting business.
“This new poll reflects the strong support of a statewide smoke-free law of the business community. Smoking is not only killing us, it is bankrupting us. Over 90 percent of our members surveyed support such a law and we will continue advocating for smoke-free legislation that not only saves lives but also improves the economic health of the Commonwealth,” Kentucky Chamber Vice President of Public Affairs Ashli Watts said Wednesday.
See the full poll results here.
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