Statewide Smoking Ban Gets Committee Okay

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 3/13/2012 6:48 pm
Health advocates are calling it an historic day.  The House Health and Welfare Committee approved a statewide smoking ban bill 10-2 Wednesday, the first time the controversial idea has made it out of a legislative hearing.
 
But, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, told reporters after the meeting that the bill will probably not be brought up on the House floor because there are not enough votes in the Senate to make it law.
 
34 communities currently have smoke-free laws, creating a patchwork of bans across the state.  Among the ten lawmakers voting for the bill was a physician, Rep. David Watkins, D-Henderson.  He says smoking raises everyone’s health insurance premiums.  "You know if you're truly against taxes I don't know how you could be against this legislation,” Watkins said during the hearing.
 
"It is not the role of government to go this far,” countered Rep. Ben Waide, D-Madisonville.  “There are personal property rights here that are being trampled."
 
The other no vote on the health and welfare panel came from a lawmaker who is a cancer survivor and was asthmatic as a child.  "I have to respect that the property rights and the beliefs of those that I represent in giving this no vote today, thank you,” said Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Burlington.
 
"We haven't violated any body's property rights, you can still smoke in your house and smoke in your car,” said Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, chairman of the committee.
 
Despite the momentum created by the committee vote, health advocates admitted it remains an uphill climb.  "I care a lot about public health and I call it toothpicks up Mount Everest, we're all prepared to work," said Dr. Sylvia Cerel-Suhl, a family physician from Lexington.
 
Cerel-Suhl, who is president of the central Kentucky chapter of the American Heart Association, testified for the bill Tuesday.

Share
1 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

snowbird - 3/14/2012 1:21 AM
0 Votes
Level playing field The one thing that works with certainty: diverse groups of people with differing interests standing together with common purpose that unites them. The only “level playing field” for smoking bans is no smoking ban.
Most Popular
More than 30 teens escape from detention center
A spokesman says more than 30 teens escaped from a Nashville, Tenn. youth detention center and 17 are still being sought.
Kentucky prepares to regulate ride sharing
State regulators are preparing emergency regulations that will go into effect next month to govern ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft as they expand their services into Kentucky cities.
Coroner: Elderly Mercer Co. Couple Die in Apparent Murder-Suicide
The Mercer County Coroner has confirmed that an elderly couple were found dead in their home Sunday night following an apparent murder-suicide.
Police: One In Critical Condition After Shooting
A man was critically injured during a shooting in Shelby County Monday night. Video Video
Pulaski Co. Deputy Charged in Domestic Violence Case
A Pulaski County Sheriff's Deputy has been charged in a domestic violence case stemming from an incident that allegedly happened nearly six months ago. Video Video
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
   

WTVQ.com supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.