Oct. 16, 2013 — The editor:
As a nurse, I urge state law makers to enact a smoke-free law, which would greatly benefit the health of our state. Secondhand smoke is a proven cause of death and disease in nonsmokers. As such, many cities, states and countries have passed laws that require all workplaces and public places to be smoke-free. This movement continues because smoke-free laws are good for business, popular, and they save lives.
I support Kentucky going smoke-free because secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer. Chemicals in secondhand smoke include formaldehyde, cyanide, arsenic, carbon monoxide. Nearly 1000 Kentuckians die every year from the effects of secondhand smoke exposure (lung cancer, heart attacks, stroke, etc.). People deserve to be protected from the proven dangers of secondhand smoke; it is no longer acceptable to harm someone else with tobacco smoke!
About 34% of Kentuckians are covered by local smoke-free laws. I urge our legislators to recognize the work of our local communities, and support a comprehensive statewide law which would extend protections to all of our citizens. The majority of Kentuckians want to breathe clean air and everyone should have that right.
Mary Horsley, RN, CCRP