Over the past several years, Louisville, Lexington and dozens of other Kentucky cities have all passed laws banning smoking in public buildings and workplaces. And by doing so, they've freed the large majority of their citizens from the proven health hazards of second-hand smoke and motivated others to give up the habit.
Opponents of these laws all argued that they'd cause irreparable harm to businesses – especially restaurants and bars. And in every case, they were proven wrong, as the few who stayed home because of the ban were more than outweighed by the many who were more likely to patronize businesses that didn't pose a threat to their health.
Now, Kentucky has taken the first step toward extending this common-sense policy to the statewide level. But while the House approved a statewide smoking ban earlier this month, Senate President Robert Stivers says he doesn't believe the Senate is likely to follow suit.
If that's the case, the people will have been ignored. Surveys indicate that more than two-thirds of Kentuckians support such a law, and the time has come for them to be heard.
If this is important to you, I urge you to contact your state senator and make your feelings on this proposal clear. This is a rare chance for Kentucky to make meaningful progress toward a much healthier environment and it would be a shame to squander it.