Last month I asked my children to draw a poster to submit for Children’s Advocacy Day on what they thought would make Kentucky a better place to be a kid. My 5-year-old child and I talked about some different ideas, but my 7-year-old son jumped right in to drawing. He had his idea and set to work. A picture emerged of a pizza restaurant with a no smoking sign on the front door.
When I asked him to tell me about his picture, he relayed a story: “Mom, do you remember that time we went to a restaurant and sat outside? There were people smoking at the table right behind us. And when we were driving home, I couldn’t breathe very well? I think Kentucky would be better if people didn’t smoke around kids, because they might be allergic like me!”
I did remember that time very well. I remembered my worry as we drove home. I remembered the concerned conversations with my husband. And I remembered sitting with my son in our bathroom with the shower steam as soon as we got home to calm his breathing.
We are lucky enough to live in a city with an indoor smoking ban, so since that experience, we have been able to just sit inside at restaurants and breathe easier. But that won’t help when we visit the grandparents, and it doesn’t help when we stop at a gas station on the way to the towns where they live. It also doesn’t help the thousands of workers who have to breathe smoke-filled air on a daily basis. In my son’s eyes, kids across Kentucky should be free from smoke in public places. I wholeheartedly agree and ask Kentucky’s legislators to pass a smoke free law.
You can help too. This Thursday, Valentine’s Day, supporters of a smoke-free Kentucky are gathering at the Capitol in Frankfort to let our legislators know that we want a statewide, comprehensive smoke-free bill to pass this session. Join us at the Capitol Rotunda for a rally at 11:00am on Thursday to show your support. Also, let your legislators know that you support HB 190. Click here to find out who you legislator is and their contact information. Together, we can clear the air in the Commonwealth.