Statement by Terry Brooks on House Health and Welfare Committee Passing HB 173 to make Indoor Workplaces Smoke-Free

Jeffersontown, KY – Today, the House Health and Welfare Committee took an important step to protect kids by passing House Bill 173 to make indoor workplaces smoke-free.  The serious and deep impact of secondhand smoke on children is undeniable, and every Kentucky child needs to be protected from that.  Right now, kids with asthma and allergies aren’t protected from secondhand smoke that triggers breathing problems when they are in indoor public places.

Moreover, secondhand smoke contributes to an array of health issues with pregnant women, such as being a major contributing factor of low birthweight babies.  Therefore, this measure is a real protection to the health of Kentucky’s unborn citizens.  It would also save state Medicaid dollars as we currently spend $487 million in Medicaid each year on smoking related illnesses.

Good health for unborn infants, for kids from one to eighteen and for pregnant women should not be a matter of lucky geography.  Instead, every Kentuckian in every zip code should enjoy the health benefits from this common sense measure.

We applaud Representatives Susan Westrom and Julie Raque-Adams for their leadership on this bill and Senator Julie Denton for filing Senate Bill 117, a Senate companion bill. We now look to the full House to pass House Bill 173. Kentucky kids can’t wait.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an interview, please contact Andrea Bennett at 502-381-1176 or abennett@kyyouth.org.