Kentucky Considers Statewide Smoking Ban

The bill covers all indoor workplaces and public areas, such as shopping centers, bars and restaurants.
January 10, 2011

FRANKFORT, Ky. ?" Last week, state Rep. Susan Westrom introduced a bill that would ban smoking across Kentucky, the Associated Press reports. The ban would apply to all inside work spaces, as well as public places, including bars, restaurants and shopping malls. Currently, Kentucky has a patchwork of smoking bans, mostly enacted by local communities.

"We believe that people in the workplace don??t need to choose between their health and a paycheck," said Westrom. Her bill says that "the need to breathe smokefree air has priority over the desire to smoke."

"Good things usually don't happen within one year when you're doing legislative work," she said. "This is just the start of a ... well-planned campaign to educate the citizens of Kentucky, because I don't want people to fear this."

Tobacco farmer and Sen. Paul Hornback opposes the ban. "Taking away more personal freedoms ... is the wrong way for us to go," he said. He prefers letting businesses decide on whether to go smokefree.

Business owners "enjoy the fact that they can choose themselves," said Hornback. "And those that have smoking think that it's a benefit to their business."

Westrom realizes she faces an uphill battle but has said she will continue trying to pass the bill for as long as it takes.