Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Paducah expands smoking ban to e-cigs, private workplaces

Paducah has expanded the anti-smoking ordinance that it first passed in 2006.

The city commission voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday, April 10 to apply the ban to electronic cigarettes and private places of employment, making it comprehensive. “This is based on evidence that these types of ordinances make an impact on the smoking rates," Mayor Brandi Harless said.

"This amended ordinance also prohibits smoking in municipal and school-owned outdoor sports arenas and amphitheaters, public or private owned outdoor playgrounds, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds, and municipally-owned outdoor public parks, playgrounds, trails, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds," reports James Long of KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, Mo. "Smoking now is prohibited in city-owned vehicles, and each city vehicle is required to have one no-smoking sign."

The smoke-free ordinance still exempts private vehicles, retail tobacco stores, government and higher-education workplaces designated under KRS 61.165, private organizations or clubs, and private dwellings (unless used as a child-care facility), adult day-care centers, assisted-living facilities, hotel or motel guest rooms, screened gazebos, and the golf course at the city's Paxton Park, Long reports. It also exempts health-care facilities, which usually ban smoking on their own.

Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, praised the commission's action: "The comprehensive law now protects residents from secondhand smoke in all public spaces and workplaces and covers e-cigarettes as well as traditional cigarettes. This policy ensures that all who live, work and visit in Paducah can enjoy their right to breathe air that is free of tobacco smoke and related emissions. Studies show that comprehensive smoke-free laws decrease hospital admissions for emphysema and ER visits for asthma, reduce heart attacks and strokes, prompt more smokers to quit, and discourage youth from starting to smoke. These laws also benefit business by reducing health care, cleaning and maintenance costs and improving working productivity."

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