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Two-Thirds of Kentuckians Support a Statewide Smoking Ban

Photographer: Kari Soderholm

Two-thirds of Kentuckians favor a statewide smoke-free law, according to a Kentucky Health Issues Poll released Monday.

The poll found that 66 percent of Kentucky adults support a statewide law against smoking in indoor public places.

The poll was funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health, formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. (The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is part of the partnership for WFPL’s Next Louisville: Community Health project.)

The strongest support for a smoking ban came in Lexington and Louisville, where 75 percent and 74 percent of respondents, respectively, supported a ban. The majority of  people in other parts of the state also support a non-smoking policy.

Eighty percent of those who have never smoked and 71 percent of former smokers  favored the adoption of a law to protect against secondhand smoke.

But resistence came from smokers: 40 percent favored a smoke-free law.

The poll also found that 68 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of independents reported support for a statewide law on smoking.

Those who reported excellent or very good health (75 percent) favored a smoke-free law more than those who reported having fair or poor health (55 percent).

The poll is being released as Kentucky a lawmakers consider adopting and expanding smoke-free laws.

WFPL recently reported  on the prospect of the Kentucky General Assembly passing a statewide smoking ban in the 2015. State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Lexington Democrat, is sponsoring legislation for the fifth consecutive year to ban smoking in indoor public places throughout the state.

The 2015 legislative session begins Tuesday.

Also, WFPL reported Friday that Indiana state Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, introducing legislation that would expand Indiana’s existing statewide smoking ban, adding e-cigarettes while improving their regulations.

KHIP was conducted between Oct.  8 and Nov. 6. Researchers from the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati interviewed 1,597 adults throughout Kentucky by telephone.

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