New poll results recently released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky show the support for a statewide smoke-free law is at its highest point ever—even in regions with high levels of smokers in the population, like Eastern Kentucky.
According to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, which was conducted statewide between October and November 2013, 62 percent of those polled in Eastern Kentucky support a statewide smoking ban that would keep smokers out of all public establishments, like restaurants, bars, and stores. This is compared to 65 percent of all Kentuckians polled who would support the law. The 46 counties polled in the Eastern Kentucky portion of the poll include Perry, Knott, Letcher and Breathitt.
President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Susan Zepeda, said support for a smoke-free law has steadily increased since polling began in 2010, when support in Eastern Kentucky was at 46 percent and 48 percent statewide.
“Our findings reveal the statewide smoke-free issue continues to gain support among Kentuckians of all ages, walks of life, and varying political party affiliations,” Zepeda said.
According to the poll, more than 72 percent of former smokers in the state would support a smoke-free law; 38 percent of current smokers also would support the law, which is up from 17 percent in 2010. One-third of respondents said they were current smokers.
Kentucky has traditionally been a tobacco state, and is one of only 10 states in the country to not have enacted some kind of general smoking ban statewide, as of June 2013.
The poll was conducted by telephone by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, where a random sampling of 1,551 adults from the state were chosen and interviewed, according to a press release from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.