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Poll: 84% of Kentuckians Favor Tobacco-Free K-12 Campuses

Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin, Wikimedia Commons

According to a poll released by a nonprofit health organization, a vast majority of Kentuckians favor tobacco-free school districts.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, partnering with Interact for Health, funded the poll which was conducted last fall. 

The results show 84 percent of participants support a ban on tobacco products at schools – a policy adopted by only 33 of the commonwealth’s 173 public school districts.

Foundation CEO Susan Zepeda said schools need to go tobacco-free because students learn by example.

“The health education classes do a certain amount of good, but if they then see adults whom they really respect – their coaches, teachers and others – on campus smoking, it kind of undercuts that message,” Zepeda said.

So far, Murray Independent is the only district in far-western Kentucky to adopt the policy.

The poll also finds that 78 percent of Kentuckians favor the new school nutrition guidelines, while 97 percent support a required 30 minutes of physical activity each day for students. That practice is currently only recommended.

Zepeda said the results – representing widespread support from all political parties - will be sent to Kentucky policy makers at the state and federal level.

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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