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Poll Shows Increased Support for Statewide Smoking Ban

The majority of Kentuckians — 59 percent — support a statewide smoking ban, says a poll conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.Last year, the poll said for the first time that most Kentuckians supported banning smoking in  public establishments. This year, fewer than  38 percent of Kentuckians opposed such a ban. The rest had no opinion.“We have polled on this issue since 2010 and support for a smoke-free law has increased steadily since then,” said Dr. Susan Zepeda, President andCEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “This issue continues to gain support with Kentuckians of all ages and from all walks of life.”Many Kentucky cities and counties have passed smoke-free laws over the last decade; Lexington passed the state's first in 2004.And a bill to put a statewide smoking ban in public places has slowly moved through the Kentucky General Assembly the past two years, but has stalled in the state Senate.The poll asked, "Would you favor or oppose a state law in Kentucky that would prohibit smoking in most public places, including workplaces, public buildings, offices, restaurants and bars?"The poll also found that 62 percent of registered voters supported a statewide smoking ban; 36 percent opposed it. Sixty-four percent of Republicans favored a ban; 59 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of independents supported it. The Kentucky Health Issues Poll was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. The poll was conducted Sept. 20 to Oct. 14, 2012, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,680 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones. The poll has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.