Kentucky Lawmakers Introduce New Statewide Smoking Measure

Lawmakers are making another attempt at passing a state-wide smoke-free ordinance in Kentucky
Kentucky state lawmakers are pushing for an indoor smoking ban, again. About a third of the state already has ordinances that don't allow smoking in public places.

At OC Cafe in Beaver Dam, you can eat, drink, and feel welcome. But what you're not welcome to do is smoke.

"We have to go outside," says Janet Colston, a smoker. She remembers how fellow smokers at the Owensboro bowling alley she ran weren't happy when Daviess County passed its smoking regulations nearly a decade ago.

"They feel like they were being discriminated against, being a smoker. Or, 'I pay. Why can't I have the same privilege?," she recalls. "In general, people got upset."

State lawmakers are starting another effort to pass a statewide smoke free law, requiring smokers in public places like restaurants to go outside to light up. The effort has tried and failed in the past in the general assembly. Some didn't wait for the state to act. They just went ahead and said 'adios' to the ashtray.

"It was one of those things I chose to do," says Deidra Roman, who did it last March at her restaurant.

"The first week of it was such a shock that I chose to go smoke free, and after that, people got the hang of it," Roman says. "You know, the bigger cities are smoke free."

"As a smoker, that's fine if they want to do the smoking ban. They've done it across the country," says Colston. "It's just something that we'll have to adjust to and we just go outside."

Ohio County officials say they tried to pass their own smokefree ordinance a few years ago, but were unable to do so.
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