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Board of Health Champions Smoke-free Resolution

The McCreary County Board of Health met Tuesday to approve a resolution supporting a smoke-fee ordinance in McCreary County.

The resolution calls for the McCreary County Fiscal Court to pass a comprehensive smoke free law for the protection of public health.

The McCreary County Fiscal Court meets this Thursday and a possible first reading of the proposed ordinance is expected to be on the agenda. The ordinance, first introduced in November, calls for a ban on all smoking in public places, businesses and places of employment.

The ban would allow for employers to set up designated smoking areas away from public traffic routes for employees who do smoke. It also establishes a fine of up to $50 for a person found violating the ordinance or a business up to $500 for continued violations.

The Kentucky Legislature is also considering passing similar legislation. This is the fourth time anti-smoking legislation has been introduced in Frankfort, but it has not garnered much support in previous efforts- failing to get out of committee each time.

Possible passage of the bill just got more difficult at the state level with a change from Democratic leadership calling for a supermajority of votes to pass.

Typically only 51 votes are needed for passage in the House, but a supermajority required 55 votes.

One of the sponsors of the bill, Representative Susan Westrom, a Democrat out of Lexington, told Kentucky Health News Tuesday she had 49 confirmed votes, and thought she needed only two more before being informed of the new requirement.
If passed at the state level, Kentucky would be the 26th state to enact a state-wide ban.

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