Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates
Tobacco conversations in Kentucky are complex and bring lots of pressures on our elected leaders, and that is why House Bill 11 is such a profound win for Kentucky’s kids. We’re hearing cheers across the Commonwealth as it clears its final hurdle of the 2019 legislative session. HB 11 establishes a statewide tobacco-free school campus policy, and that is a common sense and common ground move ahead for the health of Kentucky’s kids.
HB 11 carries special impact because of the boom in e-cigarette popularity, and that means we’re seeing more and more middle and high school students using tobacco products. Young kids are getting hooked on nicotine – an addiction that can last a lifetime and have lasting consequences on healthy development. Prohibiting tobacco use on school campuses creates an environment where smoking cigarettes and e-cigs is not the norm, provides positive adult role modeling, and protects students, staff, and visitors from the harms of secondhand exposure.
Every Kentucky student deserves to grow and learn in a healthy school environment, and our state leaders affirmed that value by supporting passage of this important legislation. We applaud Representative Kim Moser and Senator Ralph Alvarado for their leadership on HB 11. We thank members of the Kentucky Senate for prioritizing kids’ health in the final days of the session. We look forward to the Governor signing this bill into law to help Kentucky kids grow into healthy adults.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.
About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at www.kyyouth.org.