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Nearly 90 percent of Kentucky adults want schools tobacco-free, will this be the year for a statewide law?
Most Kentucky adults, by far, want schools to be tobacco-free ... The poll also found strong support among those with and without children in their homes: 90 percent and 85 percent, respectively. The poll has shown consistent support for tobacco ...
Smoke-free school policies are decided by local school boards, but that would change with enactment of Senate Bill 51 or House Bill 318, which would prohibit tobacco products on school properties and at school eventsBoth bills are still in each chamber’s education committee.
The Kentucky School Boards Association told Kentucky Health News in November that it would support any legislation that proposes a statewide tobacco-free school law in the 2018 legislative session, because 81 percent of their members support it.
Last year, the Senate bill’s main sponsor, Republican SenRalph Alvarado of Winchester, introduced a bill that passed the Senate but died in the House Education Committee.
Alvarado said Senate leaders have told him that the bill needs to pass out of the House first this year, and if it does, he said he thinks it will pass in the Senate.
“My question is, who are the 13 percent who don’t support this?” he asked.”That’s what it comes down to.”
RepKim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, who is sponsoring the House version of the bill, said in an e-mail that she has asked Education Committee Chair RepJohn “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville, if she can get HB 318 heard, but hasn’t heard back from him.
According to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 26 percent of Kentucky high school students regularly (defined as at least one day during the past 30 days) use either cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco, with about 14 percent each using using cigarettes and e-cigsThe numbers are much higher, 40.5 and 44.5 percent, respectively, when students are asked if they have “ever” used e-cigs or cigarettesThe survey found that 45.8 percent of Kentucky high-school students who used any kind of tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, said they had tried to quitResearch shows that strong tobacco-free school policies can discourage youth from smoking and can also help those who want to quit.
Recent studies also show that e-cigarette use among youth can lead to smoking cigarettes.
“We were making great headway in reducing youth smoking until e-cigarettes made tobacco use somewhat socially acceptable again,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which co-sponsored the poll“It is imperative that we send the message to Kentucky’s youth that using tobacco of any kind is dangerousWe can reinforce that message by ensuring that students don’t see their peers, teachers and role models smoking and using tobacco on school grounds.”
The poll, co-sponsored by Cincinnati’s Interact for Health, interviewed 1,692 Kentucky adults by landlines and cell phonesThe margin of error for each result is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
Tags:Interact for Health · Kentucky Health Issues Poll · Kentucky School Boards Association · Tobacco Free School Policies · tobacco-free schools
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