Smoking-ban supporters on ‘Road to a Healthier Kentucky Tour’ next week to rally support for the 2015 legislative session

The Smoke-Free Kentucky Coalition is kicking off its 2015 campaign to rally support for comprehensive, statewide smoke-free laws on its “Road to a Healthier Kentucky” Tour, from Monday, July 28 to Saturday, August 2.

The tour plans to make at least 10 media appearances across the state on its way to its final stop at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County. The coalition says its goal is to get Kentuckians active and engaged in supporting smoke-free policy as the campaign gears up for the next legislative session. The message: “It’s time to take a stand for better health by making Kentucky a smoke-free state.”

The coalition says 24 other states have comprehensive, statewide smoke-free laws that cover all indoor workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants. State Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, has introduced such legislation during the last four legislative sessions but it has not gotten a floor vote in the full House. Last year’s bill apparently died because legislators feared backlash in an election year.

Almost 30 percent of Kentuckians still smoke, more than any other state in the nation, but a poll last fall showed 65 percent of Kentuckians favored a smoke-free workplace law, and 90 percent of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce members support such a law.

“2015 is the year we are finally going to pass a smoke-free law and protect everyone’s right to breathe clean air in Kentucky,” said Amy Barkley, chair of the coalition. “We know Kentuckians support going smoke-free, and we’re touring the state to call attention to those supporters.”

Here’s the tour schedule:
Monday, July 28: King’s Daughters Medical Center, 2201 Lexington Ave, Ashland, noon.
Tuesday, July 29: Appalachian Regional Healthcare, 110 Medical Center Dr., Hazard, 11 a.m.; Manchester City Hall, 123 Town Square, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, July 30: Markey Cancer Center, 800 Rose St., Lexington, 11 a.m.; Norton Cancer Institute, 676 S. Floyd Street, Louisville, 3 p.m.
Thursday, July 31: Big Dawg Country Radio, 101 E. Main St., Campbellsville, 11 a.m.; Fountain Square Park, Bowling Green, 2 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 1: Smothers Park, 199 West Veterans Blvd., Owensboro, 10 a.m.; Baptist Health (formerly Trover Clinic), 900 Hospital Dr. Madisonville, 12:30 p.m.; Baptist Health Paducah, 2501 Kentucky Ave., 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 2: Fancy Farm Picnic, St. Jerome Church, Fancy Farm, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Barkley says she can be reached at 502-777-8148 or abarkley@tobaccofreekids.org to inquire about additional stops. For more information visit www.smokefreekentucky.org or contact Betsy Janes, 502-797-0638 or betsyjanes@ymail.com.

The coalition includes the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other local health, businesses and community partners.

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