Kentucky House advances proposal to ban tobacco at schools


FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WTVQ) – The Kentucky House of Representatives has approved a bill that would force some school districts to address tobacco use on campus.

Lawmakers approved House Bill 11 by a vote of 85-11 on Tuesday. It would ban the use of all tobacco products on school grounds. But it would give school districts three years to opt out of the law.

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Ninety-nine of Kentucky’s 173 school districts do not ban tobacco products on campus. State law already bans smoking for anyone under 18. But teachers and other adults can use tobacco on campus, which would include school-sponsored events like football and basketball games.

The bill now heads to the state Senate, where a similar proposal passed in 2016.

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 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.”