October 23, 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 Voices for Health

Kentucky Youth Advocates

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Did you know?
- Raising Kentucky's tobacco tax by $1 or more per pack will prevent  23,200 youth currently under 18 from becoming adult smokers.

- Only one-third of people living in Kentucky are protected by comprehen- sive smoke- free laws.

- Nearly 7 in 10 (68.9%) adult cigarette smokers want to stop smoking.
KET Smoking and Health Initiative
KET has added three new programs to its Smoking and Health initiative, made possible in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Topics include strategies for quitting, the relationship between smoking and heart disease, and the impact of tobacco use on pregnancy. You can watch them here.

Tobacco Cessation Billing/Coding
Here's a link to the recent Kentucky Medical Association presentation on billing and coding for tobacco cessation services. And here's a pdf of the slides
Our Partners and Members
We're adding new partners and members every day, but below is the latest list. Your organization can join here.
American Academy of Pediatrics- Kentucky Chapter
American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
American Stroke Association
American Lung Association
Ashland Boyd County Health Department
Baptist Health
BC Drug Free Community Coalition
Buffalo Trace District Board of Health
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Christian County Health Department
Clinton County Healthy Hometown Coalition
Clinton County School District
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Friedell Committee for Health
Gallatin Collaboration for Better Health and Safety
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
Green River Regional Health Council
James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Kentucky Association of Educational Cooperatives
Kentucky Cancer Foundation
Kentucky CancerLink, Inc.
Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Kentucky Council of Churches
Kentucky Equal Justice Center
Kentucky Health Departments Association
Kentucky Hospital Association
Kentucky Medical Association
Kentucky Oral Health Coalition
Kentucky Population Health Institute
Kentucky Primary Care Association
Kentucky Society of Addiction Medicine
Kentucky Society for Respiratory Care
Kentucky Voices for Health
Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board
Kentucky Youth Advocates
Lake Cumberland District Health Department
Lincoln Trail District Health Department
Louisville Urban League
March of Dimes
Markey Cancer Center
Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah
Mercy Health Paducah
Monroe County CARES
Monroe County Health Department
Passport Health Plan
Patient Centered Education and Research Institute
Rockcastle Regional Hospital
Smoke-Free Rights for All-Entertainers Speak Out
Three Rivers District Health Department
Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America
UK Center of Excellence in Rural Health
UK College of Public Health
Washington Penn Plastic
WEDCO District Health Department
WEDCO District Health Department & Home Health Agency

Advocacy Action Network
Aetna Better Health of Kentucky
Barren River District Health Department
Boyle County Health Department
Buffalo Trace District Health Department
Bullitt County Health Department
Calloway County Health Department
Clinton County Healthy Hometown Coalition
Clinton County School District
Danny Scott Liquor
Four Rivers Behavioral Health/Regional Prevention
Franklin County Health Department
Interact for Health
James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital
Kentuckiana Health Collaborative
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities
Kentucky Cancer Consortium
Kentucky Cancer Foundation
Kentucky Cancer Program
Kentucky Center for Economic Policy
Kentucky Chapter, American College of Cardiology
Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives
Kentucky Department of Education
Kentucky Nurses Association
Kentucky Psychological Association
Kentucky River District Health Department
Kentucky School Boards Association
Knox County Health Department
Lawrence County Health Department
Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness
Madison County Health Department
Morehead State University
Mountain Area Center for Economic Development 
Safe Communities Coalition of Central Kentucky
Southeast Kentucky & Community Technical College 
St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Center
United Parcel Service
UK College of Medicine
Women 4 Women
Coalition News
Coalition Launches Oct. 18 at Rally in Frankfort
Determined to move Kentucky from its dismal rankings as the nation's worst state for cancer and the second-highest for smoking, more than 100 business, health care, advocacy and faith leaders gathered in the Capitol Oct. 18 to launch the  Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow.

Coalition Chair Ben Chandler answers a reporter's question as (left to right) Dr. Pat Withrow, Jacob Steward and Dave Adkisson look on.

The broad-based statewide alliance will support state and local policy changes to improve Kentucky's health by reducing tobacco use and protecting Kentuckians from secondhand smoke and other tobacco emissions. 

Top on the list of those policy initiatives is increasing Kentucky's cigarette tax by at least $1 per pack. This would:
  • keep 23,200 youth from becoming adult smokers;
  • lead 29,400 adult smokers to quit;
  • prevent 14,800 of today's kids from dying prematurely; and
  • result in 5,900 fewer smoking-affected pregnancies and births.
Photo: Melissa Patrick
The Coalition also plans to help local communities enact smoke-free workplace laws, and educate consumers and health care providers about classes and other resources to help tobacco users quit.
The Costs of Smoking in Kentucky
Illnesses related to tobacco use and second-hand smoke cost Kentucky nearly 9,000 lives and $1.92 billion in health care expenditures every year. The tax burden on every household to cover these costs is $1,168 annually. Smoking also costs Kentucky businesses an estimated $2.79 billion annually in lost productivity.
The proposed tobacco tax would raise $266 million in new state revenue, while also reducing Kentucky's health care expenditures and creating a healthier workforce, the partners said. Given Kentucky's current tax rate of 60 cents per pack, the 43rd lowest in the nation, the new rate still would fall below the national average of $1.71 per pack.

How likely is a tax increase?  "With the task of tax reform looming before the General Assembly in 2018, Governor Bevin has emphasized that all ideas and concepts 'will be on the table,'" said Sen. Ralph Alvarado.
Sen. Ralph Alvarado said a tobacco tax increase is "on the table" for the upcoming legislative session.

Coalition partners said achieving all three initial goals will significantly reduce Kentucky's smoking rate. Kentucky's adult rate, at 24.5 percent is the second highest in the nation (right behind West Virginia, at 24.8 percent), and 62 percent higher than the national average of 15.1 percent. Kentucky's high school youth rate of 16.9 percent is more than double the national average of 8 percent. 

For more information, visit our website. Video from the news conference is  here.
Recent News Coverage
Sampling of Media Stories About Our Launch:
Kentucky Health News:
Broad anti-smoking coalition launches with a lofty goal: adding $1 to cigarette tax in next legislative session

WPSD TV Paducah: 
Kentucky group launches Coalition For a Smoke Free Tomorrow

Kentucky New Era:
State coalition launched to improve health, reduce costs of smoking

Other Tobacco Related News:

Tobacco program launches Quit Now Kentucky campaign
Kentucky's Tobacco Quit Line is taking center stage in a new advertising campaign that encourages people to stop using tobacco products. The ads are designed to lead people to the commonwealth's free tobacco counseling service, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). R ead more here .
Kentucky one of 12 states with high rates of  smoking, tobacco related disease
Kentucky is part of "Tobacco Nation" ... And ranks 50th in America's Health Rankings Report
Kentucky is part of a "Tobacco Nation," a nickname for the dozen states where smoking rates are the highest in the country, and where the cost of smoking is lower. Read more here.
Upcoming Events
Kentucky Cancer Summit - Fall Lung Workshop
October 24, 2017, Frankfort
The Kentucky Cancer Consortium Lung Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Network currently is focused on supporting the implementation of a new Kentucky law requiring health plans to cover smoking cessation programs, as well as other tobacco policy, system and environmental changes.
Contact: Jennifer Redmond Knight, Kentucky Cancer Consortium, jredknight@kycancerc.org 

A Quick Refresher: Passing Laws at the Federal, State, and Local Level
October 25, 2017, 2-3:30 pm (ET), Webinar
Designed to give members of the tobacco control and public health community a short refresher on how laws in general - and tobacco control laws in particular - are passed at the federal, state, and local levels.

Save 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? Click here  to join our Coalition. Or email Angela Koch, akoch@healthy-ky.org