January 16, 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 Center for Smoke-free Policy

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Kentucky Council of Churches

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?
Youth smoking is down in Kentucky:
   -The percentage of middle school students who have tried cigarettes dropped from 22.5 percent in 2015 to 12.1 percent in 2017.
   -The middle school smoking rate dropped from 6.6 to 2.7 percent
   -The high school smoking rate  dropped from 23.4 percent to 18.2 percent.
   -Use of e-cigarettes dropped from 23.4 percent to 14.1 percent for high school students and from 12.1 to 3.9 percent for middle school students.
Our Partners and Members
We're adding new partners and members every day. Your organization can join here.

New Partners
- Kentucky Health Collaborative
- Mortenson Dental Partners
- Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil

New Members

Coalition News

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Kentucky Voters Send Legislators 
Clear Message: Raise Tobacco Taxes
A new poll shows a significant majority of Kentucky voters of all party affiliations support raising the state's cigarette tax by $1 a pack as a smart solution to addressing the state's budget shortfall and other revenue needs, while saving lives and health care dollars. The poll, conducted in mid-December by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc., found that 69 percent of registered voters support a $1 cigarette tax increase. 

Overall support increased to 73 percent when respondents heard about the specific revenue and health benefits of the tax increase. Here's that question: A $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax will generate about $250 million in additional state revenue and it is estimated that it would prevent about 20,000 kids from becoming smokers. In the long run, by reducing smoking, it will end up saving $1 billion in health care costs. Based on that information, would you support or oppose increasing the state cigarette tax by $1 per pack?

(See high resolution version here.)

Support was highest in the Lexington Bluegrass region, at 81 percent, but still reached 65 percent in Eastern Kentucky. The American Heart Association paid for the poll with a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Reducing Kentucky's Smoking Rates: A Breath of Fresh Air
The chief executives of the Kentucky Dental Association, the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition and Mortenson Dental Partners came together in an OpEd supporting a $1 or more increase in the tobacco tax to improve oral health in the Commonwealth.

According to the authors, current smokers have poorer oral health and more oral health problems than either former smokers or those who have never smoked. 

"Certainly, Kentucky's high smoking rate shows up in our state's oral health status: Kentucky ranks 42nd lowest in the nation for the percentage of adults 18 and older who've had one or more permanent teeth extracted due to tooth decay or gum disease," the authors wrote.

See the full OpEd printed in the Northern Kentucky Tribune . It also was picked up by  The Morehead News, The News Enterprise (Elizabethtown), The Paducah Sun, and other publications.
Recent News Coverage
Coalition in the News:

Other Tobacco Related News:

Upcoming Events
Kentucky Senate Committee on Health & Welfare Holds Informational Hearing on Tobacco Tax
January 17, 2018, 10 a.m., Annex 131, Frankfort

14th Annual Kentucky Children's Advocacy Day
January 18, 2018, 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.

Kentucky Cancer Consortium Webinar: Tobacco Treatment Best Practices
January 24, 2018, 12:30-1:30 pm
Audrey Darville, of the Hope Clinic in Danville, is the speaker of this webinar for public health professionals, HR directors, worksite wellness program mangers and business leaders.  Register here.

News Conference: Tobacco Tax Leads to Healthier Babies, Children
January 24, 2018, Time TBD
Coalition partners are planning a news conference in the Capitol to share information about how a $1 tobacco tax increase will reduce smoking-affected pregnancies. Data show that the health benefits of the tax increase extend beyond newborn stage and well into childhood. Learn more here and here.

January 31, 2018, Time TBC
Kentucky Youth Advocates are planning a second news conference to focus on youth smoking prevention benefits of the tax increase.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to Host Day at Capitol
February 21, 2018, Frankfort
Learn more here.

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 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.

Kentucky Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Conference
April 10, 2018, Lexington
This conference is mandatory for tobacco coordinators.

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