The letter may also discourage other counties and cities from passing ordinances to protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke, said Ellen Hahn, a professor of nursing at the University of Kentucky and head of the Center for Smoke-free Policy.
However, Denny Nunnelley, KACo’s executive director and chief executive officer, said the association didn’t intend to discourage counties from passing such laws, Estep reports: “Nunnelley said . . . KACo officials thought it made sense to send a reminder that lawsuits challenging ordinances could result in higher insurance costs.”
The letter, which addressed smoking in public places, same-sex marriage, right-to-work laws and minimum wage, was sent to all 113 counties for which the organization provides coverage.
One issue with the letter is that the state constitution, state law and a state Supreme Court case all clearly state that counties have the authority to pass and enforce smoke-free laws, said Judy Owens, a lawyer and consultant for the smoke-free policy center. (Read more)