March 15, 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 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 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

Learn More:
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Did you know?
Members of low-income, minority, LGBTQ and other populations are disproportionately impacted by tobacco use:

- 36.5% of adults with any mental illness used tobacco in 2013 compared to 25.3% of adults with no mental illness.

- 43.7% of Kentucky's Medicaid population smokes, compared to 25.5% of all Kentucky adults.

- One in four LGBT persons smokes, compared to one in six heterosexual/straight persons.

- Nationwide, 27.9% of those who are members of a racial minority smoke, compared to an overall smoking rate of 15.1%.

-Smoking also causes breast, head & neck, blood, prostate, kidney, bladder and liver cancers.

Poisons in cigarette smoke can weaken the body's immune system, making it harder to kill cancer cells.

- Poisons in tobacco smoke can damage or change a cell's DNA. When DNA is damaged, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancer tumor.

Learn more from the American Cancer Society.

- Kentucky is ground zero for lung cancer in America; smoking contributes to 90% of lung cancer cases in men and 80% of cases in women.

Female smokers are nearly 22 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, compared to women who never have smoked.

If you have asthma, tobacco smoke can trigger an attack or make an attack worse.

Learn more from the American Lung Association.

What Can You Do?

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

For more social media post ideas, graphics and photos, visit our user-friendly s ocial 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.

Welcome new Partners and Members!

- Humana (also a new member of the Steering Committee)

- Kentucky Cancer Foundation (new member of the Steering Committee)

Contact Your Elected Officials
Our website has multiple resources you can use to learn more so you can  contact your legislator in support of raising the cigarette tax and passing smoke-free laws.

Coalition News

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Coalition Launches "A Dollar More" Multi-Media Campaign 
The coalition launched its advertising campaign Feb. 26 with the theme "A Dollar More," focused on the specific gains that can be made in in fant health and youth smoking prevention by raising Kentucky's cigarette tax by $1 per pack. 

The tax increase will raise the price of cigarettes enough to cause more than 50,000 Kentucky teens and adults to either quit smoking, or never even start. It also will mean 1,180 fewer smoking-affected pregnancies every year, as price-sensitive expectant moms decide not to smoke.

The Coalition said it is focusing its campaign on the impact that the cigarette tax increase will have on infant and youth health because the smoking rates among these groups remain so high. 

Nearly 21 percent of Kentucky women smoke cigarettes during pregnancy - double the national rate . The pregnancy smoking rate exceeds 30 percent in 35 Kentucky counties, and 40 percent in four counties. Among high school-aged youth, 14.3 percent smoke, compared to a national rate of 8 percent.

The campaign also reminds legislators and voters that Kentucky is the
cancer capital of the nation. A greater proportion of people are diagnosed with, and die of, cancer in Kentucky than anywhere else in the nation. And smoking is tied to 34 percent of Kentucky cancer deaths, more than in any other state. Reducing smoking rates will lead to lower cancer rates.

The multi-media campaign includes billboards, cable television, print and digital ads encouraging residents to contact their legislators in support of reducing smoking in Kentucky by raising the cigarette. See all of the ads here, and please share them with your networks and on social media.

$1 Tobacco Tax Increase will Reduce Smoking Among Low-Income, Vulnerable Populations
At a March 7 news conference in Frankfort, speakers
Covington resident Missy Spears speaks in support of $1 cigarette tax increase.
focused on the impact Kentucky's high smoking rates have on those living at or near the poverty level, racial minorities, LGBTQ, and other populations that face stigmatization.
"Members of these communities are heavily targeted by tobacco industry advertising and coupons," said Emily Beauregard, executive director of Kentucky Voices for Health. "Big tobacco zeroes in on these groups because members often have less information about the health dangers of tobacco use, less access to cessation treatment, and fewer social supports to help them quit successfully. The result? They smoke at much higher rates than Kentucky overall, which is neck-and-neck with West Virginia for the highest smoking rate in the nation." 

The Coalition says an increase of at least $1 per pack is necessary to reduce the impact of smoking on Kentuckians' health and the economy; much less, and "it's just a tax" with no health benefits.

"Tobacco companies will undermine the impact of a 50-cent tax hike on the price of a pack of cigarettes by issuing 50-cent coupons," said Allison Adams, Kentucky Health Departments Association Director. "There'll be no 'price shock,' which is what it takes for the smoker to quit. In the end, minority groups and others who still smoke in Kentucky will pay more for their cigarettes when the price eases back up but they won't get the health benefits of quitting."

Learn more about why it takes at least $1 to change smoking behavior here.

Kentucky House Passes 50-cent Per Pack Cigarette Tax Increase
The Coalition has turned its focus on the Kentucky Senate following House passage of a revenue measure that included a 50-cent increase in the excise tax on a pack of cigarettes in the Commonwealth. In a statement, the Coalition said it "a ppreciates that the House of Representatives is considering an increase in Kentucky's cigarette tax," but added: "[A]n increase of only 50 cents is too small to save lives, reduce smoking rates among youth and pregnant women, and protect unborn babies." (Full statement)
Partner and Member News
Kentucky Health Issues Poll: Support for Tobacco-Free Schools Climbs to 87 Percent
Nearly nine in 10 adults in Kentucky favor 100 percent tobacco-free policies on school campuses in their communities, according to the latest  Kentucky Health Issues Poll  (KHIP). KHIP is funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health.

Strong policies for tobacco-free school campuses can help youth avoid starting tobacco use and help those who want to quit. Yet just 39 percent of of Kentucky school districts have 100 percent tobacco-free policies, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.

See more information about the poll  here.
Other Kentucky Tobacco Control News
Salyersville Passes Strong Smoke-Free Workplace Law
Congratulations to the Salyersville City Council for passing a comprehensive smoke-free law during their meeting on February 26. The new ordinance protects people in indoor public places and places of employment from secondhand smoke from cigarettes and vapor from e-cigarettes.
The new law goes into effect this month. Keep an eye on  http://www.uky.edu/breathe  for the updated listing, map, and a copy of the full ordinance.
Recent News Coverage
Coalition in the News (please share these stories on social media):
Please Support These Upcoming Events
Join the Tobacco Tax Rally on Kick Butts Day!
March 21, 2018
9:30 a.m., Capitol Rotunda, Frankfort
More than 150 Kentucky youth will descend on the capital on Kick Butts Day, a national day of activism when teachers, youth leaders, public health advocates, and other community leaders organize events designed to get youth
to stand out, speak up and seize control 
against Big Tobacco. You can find ideas and register your event here. Be sure to join youth from all over Kentucky in the Capitol Rotunda rally at 9:30 a.m.

Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy Spring Conference
April 11, 2018, Lexington
A day of learning and networking about comprehensive smoke-free efforts in Kentucky. Learn more and register  here.
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