A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky House passes tobacco-free schools bill, 85-11, and it now goes to the Senate for approval

A number of business and health organizations applauded the House Tuesday for passing a bill to make Kentucky K-12 school property tobacco-free with a vote of 85 to 11.

The tobacco-free schools bill, HB11, championed by Rep. Kim Moser of NKY, had passed unanimously out of the House Health and Human Services Committee on February 7.

It now goes to the Senate for consideration where Sen. Ralph Alvarado has pledged to take action quickly on the bill.

Here is the full statement from The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and several other health advocacy and business organizations:
“Today the Kentucky House of Representatives has taken powerful action to reduce youth vaping and other tobacco use at a time when Kentucky and the nation are facing an epidemic. Making Kentucky school campuses completely tobacco-free is critical to changing youth attitudes about tobacco products. This measure will help protect our children from one of the most addictive substances on the planet and allow them the opportunity to learn and grow in a smoke-free, e-cigarette aerosol-free environment.
“Congratulations to Speaker David Osborne, Rep. Kim Moser and the Kentucky House of Representatives for prioritizing kids’ health. We now look to leaders in the Senate to support this measure and send it to Gov. Bevin to sign.”

Currently, only 42 percent of Kentucky public school districts have adopted tobacco-free policies.

The peak years for first trying tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are 6th and 7th grade. Prohibiting tobacco use creates an environment where smoking cigarettes and e-cigs is not the norm, reduces teen tobacco use, and provides positive adult role modeling, say advocates.

A comprehensive tobacco-free campus policy that expands across the state – as proposed by House Bill 11 – can help prevent students from ever risking addiction and protect all students, faculty, staff, and visitors from the harms of secondhand exposure to smoke, aerosol, and residue.

Staff report

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