A new poll by a nonpartisan health organization suggests a majority of Kentuckians would support a statewide smoking ban.
The Kentucky Health Issues Poll is conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. And its 2011 poll, taken last fall and released this week, shows that 54 percent of Kentuckians would approve an indoor statewide smoking ban.
Kentucky’s General Assembly has flirted with a law that would create a statewide smoking ban, but it has yet to fully make it through both chambers.
Foundation CEO Susan Zepeda says public opinion has likely changed to support a ban because more cities and counties have adopted similar measures.
“And what we saw this year is a tipping of the balance, so that as you point out, a majority of Kentuckians in every region of the state feel that a law about indoor smoking is a smart thing for us to have,” she says.
Support for a statewide ban was strongest in the Greater Lexington region where 61 percent of those polled were in favor. The lowest approval came from Western Kentucky, where poll respondents were split 51-49 percent in favor of a ban.
“One might suggest that people understand that smoking is dangerous for your health and if you’re in a smoke-free environment, it might just be that nudge that helps you move to try again to stop smoking,” Zepeda says
For the last two years, the Kentucky General Assembly has flirted with a law creating a statewide smoking ban, but has never seriously considered it.
Supporters say they will continue to push the issue until a ban passes.