A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor signs into law ban on use of tobacco in all Kentucky public schools and events, effective July 1

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law to ban the use of tobacco products in all Kentucky public schools and events, a policy that has taken several years to pass. It will take effect July 1, 2020. Kim Moser “It’s not only going to help kids become less addicted in the future and improve overall health, but I think it will actually improve the light...

General Assembly comes to close, passing over 200 bills, including school safety, no-tobacco schools

The General Assembly’s 2019 session came to a close Thursday evening, capping off a session in which lawmakers approved a school safety measure considered a signature issue of the session.   When the final gavel fell on this year’s 30-day session, the school safety measure had already been effective law for a couple of weeks. Because the measure contained an emergency clause, it took effect as...

Al Cross: As General Assembly ends, it did not — in most big ways — act in the public interest

FRANKFORT – With almost all its work done, has the current session of the Kentucky General Assembly acted in the public interest? In many small ways, yes. But in most big ways, no. And, of course, it depends on how you define “public interest.” For example, what some see as needed competition for failing public schools, and more opportunity for students, is seen by others as a drain on schools...

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...

Tobacco-free schools bill moves to full House; Administrators urge lawmakers to pass legislation

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to make Kentucky school properties tobacco-free passed unanimously out of the House health committee on Feb. 7 and was posted for passage on the consent calendar in the House this week. House Bill 11, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, would ban the use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes on all school-owned properties, including all school events...

Nearly 90 percent of Kentucky adults want schools tobacco-free, will this be the year for a statewide law?

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Most Kentucky adults, by far, want schools to be tobacco-free — and bills to do just that have been introduced in the Senate and the House. The latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll, taken Oct. 24 to Dec. 2, found that 87 percent of Kentucky adults favor tobacco-free campuses. Support was strong across party lines, with 89 percent of Democrats, 87 percent...

Number of Kentucky school districts implementing 100 percent tobacco free policies drops sharply

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Only two school districts have passed 100 percent smoke-free school policies in Kentucky this year, compared to 16 in 2016, perhaps because they are waiting to see if the state will require such action. “Sometimes when the state legislature takes things on, local officials kind of wait and see if the state’s going to do it,” Ellen Hahn, director...

Republican senators scale back statewide smoke-free efforts to cover just public schools, activities

Two Republican state senators who couldn’t make progress toward a statewide smoke-free law are shooting for a lesser goal: a ban on use of tobacco products on public school property or at any school-sponsored activity. “It’s the first time to be presented to the legislature, but we are optimistic that it will become law,” Sen. Ralph Alvarado, a Winchester physician, told the Lexington Herald-Leader....

Athletes drive increase in high schoolers' use of smokless tobacco, CDC study shows

    High-school athletes are using more smokeless tobacco, even though overall tobacco use among high-school students has declined, according to a study published by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   “We can do more to protect America’s youth from a lifetime of addiction,” Tom Frieden, CDC director, said in a press release. “The fact is, smokeless tobacco...