Rural health advocate pleads with legislature to ‘end the tobacco epidemic in rural Kentucky’

Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, looks at a Smoke Free Kentucky
display in the state Capitol. The group added black wreaths after the
smoking-ban bill died. (Courier-Journal photo by Jonathan Palmer)

The day that the bill for a statewide smoking ban died, the Kentucky Rural Health Association published a column in KyForward calling on legislators to “step up to the plate to help us save future generations from the scourge of tobacco use, disease and early death.”

Tina McCormick of Henderson, the group’s executive director, began her piece this way: “We have an epidemic right here at home and rural Kentuckians are the hardest hit.” She added later, “The General Assembly must act now to fix the tobacco epidemic in
rural Kentucky. Those of us who live in rural areas start using tobacco
at a younger age, we use it more heavily, and we are more likely to
breathe secondhand smoke at work and at home than those who live in the
cities and suburbs in the commonwealth.”

McCormick concluded, “This is a cry for help from rural Kentucky. We are tired of waiting for
clean air. The facts are there. We need and want smoke-free air. Let’s
make the tobacco epidemic history in rural Kentucky so that our children
can expect a long, prosperous and healthy future. Please help us clear
the air and end the tobacco epidemic in rural Kentucky.” For the full column, click here.

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