Kentuckians are known for their penchant to smoke ’em if we got ’em, which is evidenced by the state’s near 25 percent adult smoking rate. So there’s bound to be some heavy opposition to this bill, but we think it would be a good one to pass, not only for the health of the smoker, but for others having to breathe in secondhand smoke.
The harmful effects of smoking tobacco for both the smokers and those around them have been well documented. Cigarette smoke has been shown to contain various toxic chemicals, and remains one of the leading causes of cancer in the nation. Cigarette smoking can also lead to heart disease, dental problems and other complications.
In other words, smoking is not something nonsmokers should have to put up with if they choose not to.
There is little reason not to approve a bill like this. Several states have already passed similar measures to no great difficulty in implementation, and we think implementing it in Kentucky would go over fairly steady in the long run.
We already have some case studies to fall back on in communities like Lexington, Prestonsburg and Paintsville where local smoking bans have apparently done little to nothing to stymie local business.
Lots of people opposing this measure cry foul and cite the rights of smokers. Sure, they have the right to choose to smoke if they like, but where do the rights of nonsmokers come into the picture? We think Rep. Westrom is onto something with this bill, and we hope there are more legislators who have the backbone to sign on as co-sponsors.