Advocates, including governor, rally for statewide smoking ban

The annual Smoke-Free Kentucky rally was held Wednesday in the rotunda of the Capitol to promote passage of a statewide smoking ban. Gov. Steve Beshear and Dave Adkisson, president and CEO of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, were among the advocates. Others included the sponsors of the legislation, Reps. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, and Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, and Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville; and Sgt. Dakota Meyer of Columbia, Marine Corps veteran and Medal of Honor recipient.

Dakota Meyer said he got involved in the issue after his friend
Regan Judd, right, a spokeswoman for the American Heart
Association, told him the dangers of secondhand smoke.
(Photo by Charles Bertram, Lexington Herald-Leader)

“This is not a law that’s going against liberty,” said Meyer, 25, who has said he is interested in a political career. “It’s going
(for) protecting others, and that’s what laws are for.” Other speakers
at the event “said
they’ve reached a tipping point, and the state that tops the nation for
smoking may finally be close to passing a smoking ban,” Laura Ungar and Sebastian Kitchen report for The Courier-Journal.

Smoking-ban legislation has never come to a vote in the full House because it lacked the votes to pass, but its chief sponsor said recently that she now has the votes. A similar bill has been introduced in the Republican-controlled Senate for the first time, but Senate leaders sent it to the Judiciary Committee rather than the Health and Welfare Committee, which is chaired by the bill’s sponsor.

Senate President Robert Stivers, who opposes the bill, told The Courier-Journal that “he has not polled members to know how much support there is in the
Senate,” the Louisville newspaper reports. “He acknowledged there are mixed opinions on the legislation and
there is a possibility it could come to the floor for a vote. Beshear said he will keep pushing the bill because “The health of our
people demands that we do this.”

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