State’s commissioners of education and health urge Kentucky’s school boards to make their campuses smoke-free

The commissioners of Kentucky’s education and health departments have jointly signed and sent letters to all 173 school superintendents in the state asking them to pass full smoking bans “to protect the health of students,” Devin Katayama reports for Louisville’s WFPL.

Education Commissioner Terry Holliday and Health Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield Gibson said in the letter that “only 36 school districts, including Jefferson County, have passed comprehensive smoking bans that prohibit smoking anytime on any school property, in school vehicles and during field trips,” Katayama writes.

The state has decreased its student smoking rate to 18 percent, down from 24 percent in 2011, according to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System report, but that still leaves Kentucky near the top, ranking 6th place in youth smoking. The national average is 15.7 percent.

“Are we pleased it’s decreasing, of course. Are we resting on our laurels and said great job? Absolutely not, we have more work to do,” she told Katayama.

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