COMMENTARY | Smoking is something that I have been affected by for nearly my whole life. When I was young, my father smoked around my sister and I to the point that she nearly suffered long-term respiratory illness. Thankfully, at a young age we were removed by our mother from that environment that was harmful to our health. It is one thing to hurt yourself with smoke but another to harm those around you with second hand smoke.
Smoking bans are a new trend that is quickly sweeping the nation and, according to a CDC report, 25 of the 50 states have adopted a smoking ban. This does not mean simply moving smokers to one side of the restaurant but rather completely banning any form of smoking in public places.
Though many are outraged by these bans for obvious reasons to themselves, others say that the bans are making the air cleaner and making it a better environment for families and children. I for one am for public smoking bans; while it is the right of Americans to do whatever they please in their homes within the boundaries of the law, it is also the right of non-smokers to have clean air when they sit down for a meal or to enjoy the company of families and friends.
I live in Kentucky; a smoking ban here would lead to near chaos. While some restaurants and cities have opted for their own smoking bans, there has yet to be filed an official statewide regulation, which makes us one of the seven states listed on the report that has no restrictions on smoking in public.
There have been little protestations of the minimal smoking bans in our state from time to time, but as of yet there have been no real hard-hitting protests. This does not mean that people are not worried that a smoking ban will be placed on Kentucky but rather that it poses no significant threat at this time.
Kentucky is one of the largest producers of tobacco in the United States. To ban smoking in a state that has that on their bill would be financially unsound. While there is no set in stone ban on smoking, lawmakers in the state are working toward putting some restrictions in place to help cut down on secondhand smoke.
One bill that has been proposed that seems like it is the most likely to do good in my opinion is the smoking ban for parents with their children in the car. This bill was proposed earlier this year by Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo and seems as though it may have a fighting chance. The bill proposes that parents are not allowed to smoke in the car with children under the age of 17. Only time will tell if a smoking ban will officially be placed on Kentucky.
25 states now ban smoking in public places, CDC report says, Marni Jameson, Orlando Sentinel, www.latimes.com
KY proposes smoking ban in cars with kids, Staff Writer, www.kltv.com