Ky. newspapers support Beshear’s expanded smoking ban for state-government sites, back statewide smoking ban

The Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville stands firmly in favor of the executive order put in place last week to ban employees and visitors from using all tobacco products in most state government buildings, says a recent editorial, republished by the Georgetown News-Graphic.

The paper also joined in the governor’s hope that the General Assembly in 2015 will pass a law barring smoking in workplaces and enclosed public spaces, saying, “It is time for Kentucky lawmakers to adopt a statewide smoking ban.”

“When it comes to preventable illnesses and death, nothing in Kentucky is as devastating as smoking and tobacco use,” Beshear said. “Yet Kentuckians continue to use tobacco more than the residents of any other state. And as a result we lead the nation in cancer deaths.”

The New Era reminded its readers that the rights of nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke are just as important as the rights of the private business owners.  It also added that the complaint that smoking bans hurt businesses, doesn’t hold up.

“Kentucky cities that have approved public smoking bans — including Hopkinsville — have proven that restaurants survive just fine without smoking sections,” the New Era said. “In fact, many businesses gain customers who previously stayed away because they did not want to breathe secondhand smoke.”

The editorial reminds its reader that the governor’s executive order is a temporary solution and the real solution is to enact a smoking ban before the governor leaves office in December 2015. ANo smoking-ban bill has ever gotten a vote in either chamber of the legislature.

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