Nov. 20, 2013 — The editor:
As a Board Member of the Kentucky Rural Health Association and a member of the healthcare workforce, I ask Carter County residents and our lawmakers to support a comprehensive smoke-free law this upcoming legislative session.
According to the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on the health consequences of smoking, we now know that smoking harms almost every organ in the body.
Not only are smokers at a much higher risk of lung cancer, but heart attacks, strokes, coronary heart disease, ulcers, and cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas are all side effects of smoking. The sad part is that many people will fall prey to these same conditions because of having to breathe second hand smoke in public.
If Kentucky enacted a comprehensive, smoke-free law, it would ensure that all Kentuckians would have the right to breathe clean air at work and in public places helping to dramatically improve the health of our state.
It’s a proven fact that most people who smoke want to quit. Adopting a state wide smoke-free law would not only allow clean breathing air for all, but it would assist those looking for support in quitting. Not having to be around others smoking in public will provide a major impact to those wanting to quit but typically struggle when going about their day.
A comprehensive smoke-free initiative would enforce that all public businesses and properties would be smoke-free. This type of legislation would not enforce any type of laws against smoking on one’s own private property including in traveling vehicles. I feel that every individual has the right to decide to smoke but this law would protect the health of those who have chosen not to.
I ask that our legislators (Sen. Robin Webb and Rep. Jill York) support this law in the upcoming year and urge all Carter County residents who feel the same to contact our legislators and express to them how important this is to the health of our community.
Andrew Bledsoe, MBA, CHPS, PCMH CCE