HB 289 (Westrom), a statewide smoke-free bill that prohibits smoking in indoor public places, passed the House Health and Welfare Committee by a vote of 10-2 yesterday. Kentucky Chamber President & CEO Dave Adkisson testified in support of the bill, saying Chamber members overwhelmingly support a smoke-free law because they now see the effects of smoking on our workforce in terms of absenteeism and lost productivity, as well as on their insurance premiums and tax bills. With nearly a quarter of Kentuckians still smoking (the second highest rate in the country), the CDC has estimated smoking-related health expenditures cost Kentucky more than $1.7 billion annually, and the smoking-attributable economic productivity loss at more than $2.6 billion.
After the vote yesterday, House Speaker Greg Stumbo also expressed support for the bill, which now moves on to the full House. Click here to sign up yourself and your organization to support the cause, and urge your legislators (1-800-372-7181) to support a smoke-free Kentucky.