Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

December 25, 2013

"Smoke Free Kentucky" would bring benefits


Dec. 25, 2013 — The editor:

We are getting close to time for the Kentucky General Assembly to meet once again. During this legislative session the "Smoke Free Kentucky" legislation will be reintroduced by Rep Susan Westrom. This legislation will help protect our people from the dreaded disease of LUNG CANCER by prohibiting smoking in inclosed working areas.

If a company came into our community providing many jobs, we would be very happy for our economic future. However, if this company released over 2,000 chemicals into the air we breathe and approximately 70 of these are cancer causing, we probably would tell this company to take their business elsewhere. Yet on a daily basis we allow this to happen, when our workers are exposed to cigarette smoke in the workplace.

Many of our workers are exposed to smoke on a daily basis. Our youth search for the part time job to help with expenses for school and other things. Many of these young workers end up working in jobs that expose them to smoke. As a result they increase their posssibility of getting lung cancer. Non-smoking women exposed to second hand smoke have their chances of getting lung cancer by 35 percent. Since we all have a 50 percent chance of getting lung cancer, we have just increased their chance to 85 percent. I don't think any of us want to do this.

Lung cancer is not a pleasant process to observe. As you sit by and watch a loved one progress from a healthy state to the final painful days of life, you ask the questions over and over, "What could have been done to prevent this?" and "Why?" As time passes, these questions continue to repeat themselves.

We have an opportunity to make Kentucky a healthier place to live and work with the "Smoke Free Kentucky" legislation. Our economy can improve as companies locate in areas with healthy workers, insurance rates could fall due to better health conditions, and our young people can look forward to a longer life without suffering the pain associated with lung cancer. The search for a cure is a continuing battle, however we need to work of prevention to keep people from having to suffer from the disease and the cure, which can be painful as well.

Our smoking public have a right to smoke. Our non-smoking public have a right to breathe smoke free air.

Please contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to support the "Smoke Free Kentucky" to make Kentucky a safer, healthier place to live and work for our young people.

Roger D. Cline, Sr.

Olive Hill