Kentucky Smoking Ban
A bill to enact a statewide ban on smoking in Kentucky workplaces should be as simple as ABC. Instead, evidently, it will face a steep, and probably insuperable, intense battles.
The cost that smoking-related diseases extort is scaring. In accordance with the Federal Centers for Disease Control, the annual mortality ratio constitutes 443,000 Americans, thus making smoking the largest preventable cause of death. Approximately 49,000 people die because of dangerous influences of secondhand smoke. In the mean, deceased smokers are losing between 13 and 14 years of life. For every death caused by tobacco smoke, there are about 20 Americans having a smoking-related disease.
The financial expenses are as well surprising. Each year, only medical costs amount for $96 billion, and the price tag of lost productivity constitutes nearly $97 billion. In Kentucky, the statistics are inferior to that of national averages. The state is occupying the same place as West Virginia for their nation’s highest adult smoking rate- 25.6% in comparison to 20.6% national rate.
Thus Kentucky rates among the top states for lung and cardiovascular disease.
33 states and the District of Columbia have particular forms of statewide smoke-free laws. Support on the part of population is increasing even in Indiana, tied with Missouri for the nation’s growing adult smoking rate at 23.1%. And namely this national trend Kentucky should affiliate with.
As the tobacco production has dropped in Kentucky, the state’s politicians are no longer as blindly opposed to anti-smoking actions as they were in the past years. But there is still a powerful historical and emotional link to tobacco growing and cigarette production in the state, and that is why smoke-free policies continue to be debatable and unpopular in many quarters.
Probably the most common argument against the ban is that intervenes with personal freedom, which can be quickly dismissed. Secondhand smoke causes very dangerous harm to many people besides smokers themselves, especially children, people with respiratory diseases and workers in restaurants and bars. It should not be any freedom to endanger them.
One more objection is that smoking bans should be put into practice by local governments and it has some merit. 28 Kentucky communities in 2007 have really adopted various public smoking bans, and some of the proposers of a statewide ban admit that local measures and enforcement are practically effective smoking restrictions. Though, a state ban would fill in gaps where bans didn’t come into force, fix minimum standards for anti-smoking policies and be a protection against backsliding.
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