Beshear endorses statewide smoking ban as bill moves to the House floor; Williamsburg adopts its own ban

Gov. Steve Beshear endorsed a statewide smoking ban yesterday at a Frankfort rally to push the bill that would enact the ban.

“Beshear, who later acknowledged that he smoked in college but quit soon afterwards, said Kentucky ranks No. 1 in the nation in smoking and lung cancer,” reports Jack Brammer of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Noting that Kentucky leads the nation in smoking, Beshear said, “Our addiction hurts productivity, jacks up health care costs and literally kills our people. Yet we’ve never instituted a statewide law to protect Kentuckians from secondhand smoke.” Noting that over one-third of Kentuckians live in jurisdictions with smoking bans, he said, “It’s time that we extend that protection to all Kentuckians. . . . Years from now, people will wonder why we waited so long.”

Republican Rep. Julie Raque Adams  of Louisville, a co-sponsor of the bill, noted at the rally that Williamsburg this week became the 23rd Kentucky locality to adopt a smoking ban.

The statewide measure, House Bill 190, was posted for passage in the House today but is not expected to be called for a vote unless supporters show Speaker Greg Stumbo that they have the votes to pass it.

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