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
Police: Man Breaks Into Home To Take Shower
A man is accused of breaking into a Lexington home just to take a hot shower.
Harlan ER doctor suspended by Kentucky board
A Knoxville, Tennessee, doctor practicing at Harlan Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hospital has had his license suspended by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure.
Fiery Crash Closes Stretch Of I-75 In Laurel County
A section of I-75 north of Corbin was closed for a time Friday evening following a fiery crash involving a Fed-Ex tractor trailer, according to State Police. Investigators said the driver had minor injuries.
Police: Man Robbed Lexington Walmart Pharmacy For Drugs
Lexington Police said that a man wanted drugs when he held up a Walmart Pharmacy.
SUV Flips On I-75 Entrance Ramp In Lexington
Investigators said a driver was taken to the hospital Friday night after he flipped his SUV in Lexington.
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.