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Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Calls for Statewide Smoking Ban

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A call for a smoking ban inside Kentucky’s workplaces and public buildings has the support of the state’s largest business organization. 

Representatives of Kentucky’s Chamber of Commerce made a pitch before a legislative committee today. State Chamber Board member Brent Cooper said common health problems can be tied to second-hand cigarette smoke.

It’s one of those situations where you look at that and you say, how can we not act.  How can we take steps where we know will make a difference,” Cooper said. “And this isn’t a tax increase. This is only saying go outside and smoke.  It’s not a big deal.”

Cooper said a statewide smoking ban, much like a seat belt law, is in the public’s best interest. But, Central Kentucky Representative Mike Harmon said government intervention can be too invasive

“I appreciate the comment the gentleman made that we do it anyway, but just because we do something, it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do,” Harmon said. “In other words, government has made people do things in the past, but not everything that government has made us do is great.”

A similar smoking ban was considered previously by the general assembly, but a bill never made it to the House or Senate floor.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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