Advocates of a statewide smoking ban are taking their issue on a five day tour before Fancy Farm to drum up support.

 The Smoke Free Kentucky Coalition has pushed a statewide smoking ban law in the General Assembly for the last two years. And they are making next year’s legislative session a key moment in their fight.

 Coalition coordinator Betsy Janes says with Fancy Farm’s big role as a political event, a road tour and outreach at the picnic seemed logical for the group.

 “We thought you know what, it’s a very political event, and there are a lot of interest groups and lot of community members and a lot of elected officials that attend. So we’re going to make the most of that great political event and try to raise the level of a priority of our issue going into the 2013 session,” she says.

 The coalition road tour starts today in Louisville and Lexington. The group will then head south to Somerset, then west to Bowling Green. They plan to arrive at the picnic Saturday morning.

 Janes says the road tour and advocacy at Fancy Farm this year is to help succeed in that goal of a smoke free Kentucky next year.

 “2013 will be a good time to pass a smoke free bill because everyone deserves the right to breathe clean air. Many cities in Kentucky, many counties in Kentucky have done the right thing and protected their citizens from exposure to second hand smoke and its time now for all Kentuckians everywhere to have the right to breathe smoke-free air,” she says.

 Janes says the group is looking into possibly more road trips to drum up support for the issue before the 2013 session begins.