July 20, 2018

To improve Kentucky's health by protecting Kentuckians from secondhand smoke and other tobacco emissions, and by reducing the high rate of smoking and tobacco use in the Commonwealth.

Steering Committee:
American Heart Association American Stroke Association

American Lung Association

Baptist Health

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky


Kentucky Cancer Foundation

Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Kentucky Council of Churches

Kentucky Equal Justice Center

Kentucky Health Collaborative

Kentucky Health Departments Association

Kentucky Hospital Association

Kentucky Medical Association

Kentucky Nurses Association

Kentucky School Boards Association

Kentucky Voices for Health

Kentucky Youth Advocates

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Did you know?

Immediate benefits of quitting smoking:

Within 20 minutes,  blood pressure decreases and pulse rate drops.

Within 12 hours, carbon monoxide levels in the blood drop to normal.

Within 2 weeks to 3 months, heart attack risk begins to drop.

Within 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath diminishes.

Within 1 year, risk of heart attack is half that of a smoker.

Learn more here, and please share this information with your networks.
What Can You Do?

Share this Info
Please post the information in this newsletter on social media using the hashtags
#smokefreeyouth and #smokefree4health.

For more social media post ideas, graphics and photos, visit our user-friendly  social media toolkit!

Join the Coalition
We're adding new partners and members regularly. Your organization can join here . There's no cost ... just a willingness to support the Coalition's mission and share what we're doing with your networks.

Contact Your Elected Officials
Our website has multiple resources you can use to learn more so you can  contact your elected officials in Frankfort or in your own hometown to tell them you support laws that reduce smoking rates in Kentucky.
Coalition News

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Now that the tax on a pack of cigarettes sold in Kentucky has risen from 60 cents to $1.10, many Kentuckians may decide it's a good time to kick the habit. The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow reminds smokers that there are many resources available to help them quit successfully.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly seven in 10 adult smokers want to quit, and a similar percentage have tried at least once to do so in the past year. Every attempt counts, the CDC reminds smokers. Here are some tips and information for Kentuckians who want to quit smoking:


Quitting is hard, but it's possible:

  • Quitting may take several attempts, but every attempt is a step along the way to quitting for good.
  • Having a plan and taking advantage of the help that's available from numerous sources can help you manage the challenges you'll face to finally quit successfully.
  • Nicotine is a highly addictive drug, perhaps as addictive as heroin, cocaine or alcohol. Most smokers become addicted to nicotine, which is found naturally in tobacco.
  • Tobacco companies intentionally manipulated the nicotine levels in tobacco products, making them more addictive.

You don't have to quit on your own.

  • Kentucky state law now requires private health insurance companies and Medicaid/Managed Care Organizations to cover the cost of smoking cessation medication and programs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. This coverage includes nicotine replacement therapies, such as gums and patches, that reduce withdrawal feelings and cigarette cravings. Ask your doctor about these therapies.
  • Kentucky's Quitline program, Quit Now Kentucky, offers three different programs - a phone only program, an online only program and a combined phone and online program - to help deal the issues that make quitting hard. Participants can choose what parts of the program will work for them. Many can access the program and nicotine replacement therapies free of cost. Visit www.quitnowkentucky.org or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more.
  • Many employers, health organizations and local agencies offer free or low-cost smoking cessation programs. Check with your employer, your local health department, or the American Lung Association for a Freedom from SmokingĀ® clinic near you.
More tips from the CDC for quitting smoking are available here.

The latest analysis from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids shows that Kentucky now ranks 36th in the nation for tobacco taxes, compared to 43rd before the increase passed this year. New York State currently has the highest state excise tax, at $4.35 per pack, and Virginia has the lowest, at 30 cents. As of July 1, the national average is $1.75 per pack.

Partners and members of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow showed strong support for a continued Coalition focus on reducing cigarette use, with 80 percent of respondents giving traditional cigarettes highest priority for a product category focus. Nearly 76 percent ranked e-cigarettes first or second in priority, while cigars and smokeless tobacco products ranked much lower.

While 90 percent of respondents ranked a statewide, comprehensive smoke-free law as their highest priority for future tobacco control work, only 39 percent though such a law could pass in the 2018 or 2019 legislative session. Eighty percent ranked increasing the amount of funding for smoking cessation programs as their first or second priority, and nearly 69 percent ranked increasing funding for youth smoking prevention that highly. Nearly 64 percent ranked working to raise the cigarette tax again as first or second, and 65 percent put their strongest support behind a statewide tobacco-free schools law.

Measures that garnered less support as a top priority included raising the excise tax on smokeless tobacco products, adding an excise tax on e-cigarettes and other electronically heated tobacco products, and changing state law to allow local jurisdictions to add local tobacco taxes or raise the legal age to purchase such products. 

Asked which audiences should be prioritized for tobacco use reduction efforts, nearly 60 percent of partners and members indicated that youth under 18 were the highest priority (respondents were asked to rank their top three of five categories). Close behind that, the all adults category garnered 50 percent of number one priority votes. Adding in votes for both first and second priority, youth garnered 90 percent, pregnant women garnered 83 percent, both young adults ages 18-25 and racial and ethnic groups with disproportionately high tobacco use rates garnered 59 percent, all adults garnered 56 percent, and low-income populations garnered 50 percent. 

This poll of members and partners provides the Steering Committee with important input for determining our strategic priorities moving forward. Watch this space in next month's newsletter for an update and, as always, feel free to share your thoughts with Coalition staff lead Bonnie Hackbarth, bhackbarth@healthy-ky.org.
Partner and Member News
City of Murray Passes Strong Smoke-Free Law
The Murray City Council passed a comprehensive smoke-free policy in June to protect residents and visitors from exposure to dangerous secondhand smoke. The new law  prohibits use of cigarettes, as well as e-cigarettes and vapes, in all enclosed public places, workplaces, private clubs, nursing homes, and hotel and motel guest rooms. It also prohibits use of these tobacco products in several outdoor locations, including outdoor shopping malls and parking structures, outdoor property adjacent to city buildings, arenas and stadiums, playgrounds, public transportation stations and shelters, common areas of apartments and multiple-use residential facilities, as well as outdoor worksites where two or more employees are required to work. Congratulations to Mayor Jack Rose and the City Council on this strong smoke-free law.

NOTE: As this newsletter was finalized, we learned that the Martin City Council also passed a comprehensive smoke-free law by unanimous vote. Congratulations to the Martin City Council, ARH Our Lady of the Way Hospital, the Floyd County Health Department and the Floyd County Tobacco Workgroup on their success in improving the health of local residents and visitors!

ACSCAN to Host 2018 Kentucky Cancer Summit Focused on Policy
Attendees at the 2018 Kentucky Cancer Summit willdiscuss public policies to ensure Kentuckians have access to the care they need to prevent, detect and fight cancer at the 2018 Kentucky Cancer Summit on August 23 in Louisville.  The Summit will be hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and presented by the Kentucky Cancer Consortium. RSVP here.
Recent Coalition News Coverage

Member/Partner News Coverage

Want to join us?
Does your organization want to help make Kentucky healthier by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke? Click
here  to join our Coalition. Or email Alexa Kerley , akerley@healthy-ky.org