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Statewide Smoke-Free Law Must Be Comprehensive, Preserve Local Control and is Not a Substitute for a Significant Tobacco Tax Increase
Date:1/13/2009

FRANKFORT, Ky., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO)

As the leading health organizations dedicated to reducing tobacco-caused death and disease in Kentucky and the nation, we are encouraged that our elected leaders are declaring their commitment to reducing tobacco use in the Commonwealth.

Our local communities have led the way by implementing smoke-free ordinances in 21 Kentucky communities. This local leadership has empowered state policymakers like Senate President David Williams to move forward with proposing a comprehensive statewide smoke-free law.

To be truly effective, a statewide smoke-free law must include the following:

  • It must not undermine local progress in any way. Our organizations are strongly committed to local control of smoke-free laws. It cannot in any way include preemptive language. It must specify that local communities will have the ability to enact laws stronger than the state law if they choose.
  • It must be comprehensive. All indoor workplaces and public places, including bars and restaurants, must be smoke-free without exception.
  • It must be enforced. Ensuring compliance with a statewide smoke-free law is imperative, but also challenging unless a critical mass of local communities already have strong laws in place. Experience from other states indicates that significant state dollars must be invested in a campaign to educate the public, business owners and business personnel to ensure compliance with a statewide law.

Our organizations will enthusiastically support a
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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