Whitesburg KY
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Region bucks smoking bans


While bans on smoking in public places have won support in Letcher County and many other parts of Kentucky during the last four years, the trend has not extended into the traditional tobacco-growing region of southern Kentucky.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the push for smokefree ordinances in the region appears to be growing, however. Officials said there could be votes on the issue in Somerset, London, Bowling Green, Glasgow and Campbellsville in the next year or so.

Those efforts are part of a larger movement for smoke-free rules in Kentucky and the nation.

“We’ve seen interest all over the state,” said Ellen Hahn, director of the Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy and a professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky.

Since Lexington approved the first indoor smoking ban in Kentucky in 2003, similar laws are in place in 20 other cities or counties. In most cases, city or county lawmakers approved the ordinances; in others, local health departments adopted smoke-free rules by regulation, according to the Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy.

Across the country, 593 municipalities ban smoking in workplaces, a number that has grown significantly since 2000, according to the advocacy group Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

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