A healthy future for Kentucky requires action to promote healthy decisions among teens. Across the commonwealth, tobacco takes a toll on the health of children, teens, pregnant women and their babies. Seventeen percent of Kentucky high school students currently smoke—the 2nd highest rate in the nation—and it is estimated that 2,900 Kentucky youth will become new daily smokers each year. Unless our youth smoking rates declines, 119,000 of the kids currently living in Kentucky will die prematurely in adulthood from smoking.
However, viable solutions do exist to end tobacco use. Increasing Kentucky’s tobacco tax by at least $1 is a proven method to prevent teens from starting to smoke and prompt pregnant women to quit smoking. With this targeted solution, we can help teens make healthy and safe choices now. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids estimates that increasing the state’s tobacco tax by at least $1 will prevent 23,200 Kentucky youth from becoming adults who smoke. An increase to the state’s tobacco tax by at least $1 will result in healthier kids now and in the future, and decrease tobacco-related health costs for the state in the decades ahead.
Join Kentucky Youth Advocates, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, members of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, youth and pediatricians from across the state, and other advocates on Wednesday, January 31st in Frankfort in the Capitol Rotunda at 9:30 AM EST for a news conference to raise awareness around teen tobacco use and promote an increase of at least $1 as a solution to prevent teen smoking.