December 18, 2017

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 Cancer Society
Cancer Action Network

American Heart Association American Stroke Association

American Lung Association

Baptist Health

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Kentucky Council of Churches

Kentucky Medical Association

Kentucky Nurses Association

Kentucky School Boards Association

Kentucky Voices for Health

Kentucky Youth Advocates

Learn More:
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Did you know?
- Lung cancer rates in Kentucky counties with strong smoke-free laws are 8 percent lower than in counties with no such laws. See article in column to the right regarding the BREATHE study.

- Teens who use e-cigarettes are seven times more likely to smoke cigarettes later. http://bit.ly/2jThzC0 

- The smoking rate during pregnancy exceeds 30 percent in 35 Kentucky counties; it exceeds 40 percent in four of those counties. See Kentucky Kids Count 2017 County Data Book, http://bit.ly/2AYB7z8. 

- An estimated 150,000 to 300,000 children younger than 18 months have respiratory tract infections tied to secondhand smoke exposure.
Our Partners and Members
We're adding new partners and members every day. Your organization can join here.

New Partners
- Delta Dental of Kentucky
- Graves County Health Department
-Healthy Paducah Coalition
-St. Elizabeth Healthcare
- United Way of Paducah-McCracken County

New Members
- American College of Physicians-Kentucky Chapter
- Center for Environmental and Workplace Health
- Jessamine County Health Department 
- Perry County Diabetes Coalition 

University of Louisville/Campus Health Services 

Coalition News
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Coalition OpEd: 
$1 More For a Healthier Generation

The Coalition opinion column advocating for the $1 increase in Kentucky's tobacco tax to improve health and reduce smoking rates has been picked up by more than a dozen Kentucky media outlets. Several more outlets have editorialized in favor of the increase, which would be a win for health, a win for business and a win for the state budget:

A Win for Kentucky Health: 
This $1 increase would keep 23,200 of today's youth from becoming adult smokers, and prevent 5,900 infants from being born too early due to smoking during pregnancy. Another 29,400 current adult smokers would quit.
A Win for Kentucky Business:
Kentucky businesses lose nearly $2.8 billion every year in reduced productivity due to smoking. The extra cost for businesses adds up to an estimated $5,816 per employee every year. Economic development experts also know that reducing Kentucky's high smoking rate - the second highest in the nation at 24.5 percent, right behind West Virginia, and 62 percent higher than the national average - will make it easier to attract new business and jobs to the Commonwealth.

A Win for the State Budget:
The $1 increase also would generate more than $266 million in new revenues, which would go a long way toward filling the state's budget shortfall, not to mention the need for funding to shore up the state's pension systems. Cigarette tax increases are particularly effective at reducing smoking among youth, lower-income smokers and pregnant women - reductions that directly decrease state Medicaid expenditures. 

If your local newspaper has not run the column, please encourage them to do so. Here is a link to the column. If the editor has questions, please refer them to Bonnie Hackbarth, bhackbarth@healthy-ky.org, 877-326-2583. 

High Cost of Smoking In fographic Updated
The updated version of our Coalition infographic offering an easy-to-view visual of the cost of smoking in Kentucky on health, health care expenditures and lost productivity is available here. The infographic also portrays the benefits of a $1 increase in Kentucky's tobacco tax. Please use this in your newsletters and social media to share this important information. Here's a glimpse:

Coalition Adds New Steering Committee Members 
The Kentucky School Boards Association, the Kentucky Nurses Association and the Kentucky Medical Association will each have a representative on the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow Steering Committee, which  sets strategic direction and determines the policy priorities of the Coalition. Their counsel and expertise will greatly inform the work of the Coalition.

Partner News
BREATHE Study Shows Lung Cancer Rates Lower in Areas with Strong Smoke-Free Laws   
A study conducted b y University of Kentucky BREATHE (Bridging Research Efforts and Advocacy Toward Healthy Environments) researchers, published in  Cancer,  is the first to find that the incidence of lung cancer among adults ages 50 and older was lower in Kentucky communities with comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws than in communities without smoke-free laws. The difference was 8 percent. In contrast, the researchers did not find differences in lung cancer rates between communities with moderate or weak smoke-free laws and those without any smoke-free laws. Just 32.7 percent of Kentucky's population is protected by strong smoke-free laws, yet the Commonwealth has the highest rate of new lung cancer cases in the nation. UK's news release about the study is here , and here's a link to the study abstract. You can  learn more about the differences between comprehensive and partial smoke-free laws here . For more information, contact Ellen Hahn, ejhahn00@email.uky.edu. 

Legislative Agendas include $1 Increase in Kentucky Tobacco Tax
The Blueprint for Kentucky's Children, the Kentucky Chamber and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce will be advocating during the 2018 legislative session for a $1 increase in the tax on cigarettes. Blueprint coalition members included the measure to keep teens from starting to smoke and reduce smoking among pregnant women, while both Chambers support it as a workforce health improvement and cost containment measure.

Recent News Coverage
Recent Coalition Media Coverage:
Letters to the Editor:
Kentucky is at a crossroads: Raise the tobacco tax to reduce smoking (London Sentinel Echo)

Raise cigarette tax (Lexington Herald Leader)

Tobacco tax a win for Ky. (Middlesboro Daily News)

Other Tobacco Related News:

Upcoming Events
KET "Calling It Quits" Programs Focus on What Works and Reducing Teen Smoking

December 18, 2017 on KET, online thereafter
Two  KET programs set to air tonight focus on helping Kentuckians break their addiction to smoking and tobacco. Calling It Quits: Real Help to Stop Smoking, airs at 9/8 p.m.  and examines effective medications and behavioral strategies available to help tobacco users give up smoking for good. Immediately following that at 8:30/8:30 p.m., Tobacco-Free Kentucky Kids  spotlights initiatives across the state to reduce smoking and other tobacco use among teenagers. The programs are part of KET's ongoing Smoking Cessation initiative funded in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Please share this programming information with your networks. Suggested social media posts:

@HealthKET explores what works to help you quit #smoking: Mon., Dec. 18, 9/8pm #smokingcessation #smokingandhealth @healthyky

@HealthKET looks at reducing smoking and other tobacco use among teens: Mon., Dec. 18, 9:30/8:30pm #smokingcessation #smokingandhealth #teensmoking 

See more KET Smoking & Health programming  here.

Save the Date: 14th Annual Kentucky Children's Advocacy Day
January 18, 2017 Frankfort
Plan on joining hundreds of advocates from counties across Kentucky at the Capitol in Frankfort to rally on behalf of children and to promote priorities on the Blueprint for Kentucky's Children agenda. This year's Blueprint includes the $1 or more increase in Kentucky's Tobacco Tax. Learn more here.

In advance of Children's Advocacy Day, Kentucky Youth Advocates is hosting an "Advocacy 101" webinar on Jan. 4, from 2-3 p.m. (ET). Register here.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to Host Day at Capital
February 21, 2018 Frankfort
Kick Butts Day!
March 21, 2018
Kick Butts Day is a national day of activism when teachers, youth leaders, public health advocates, and other community leaders orga nize events designed to get youth to stand out, speak up and seize control agains t Big Tobacco. You can find ideas and r egister your event here .

Sa ve the Date: Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy Spring Conference
April 11, 2018, Lexington
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 Angela Koch, akoch@healthy-ky.org