A “virtual conference” about giving local governments in Kentucky more control to regulate the marketing and advertising of tobacco products in their communities, so they can reduce tobacco use and improve health, will be held from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 24. The scheduled speakers are:
- Ashli Watts, president and CEO, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Betsy Vetter, national field grass-roots director, American Heart Association
- Elizabeth Anderson Hoagland, health promotion supervisor, state Department for Public Health
- State Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, chair, House Health and Welfare Committee
- State Senate Majority Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville
- Dr. Brian King, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
State law prohibits local governments in Kentucky from regulating tobacco marketing and advertising more strictly than the state does. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which is holding the conference, says 8,900 Kentuckians die prematurely each year due to the state’s high rate of tobacco use, which costs Kentucky businesses $2.8 billion a year in lost productivity. Annual health care costs tied to smoking in the state are estimated at $1.9 billion, of which $590 million is paid by taxpayers through the federal-state Medicaid program. Register for the conference at https://bit.ly/2zQN7UL.