According to the latest results released from the Kentucky Health Issues Poll, 85 percent of Kentuckians favor tobacco-free school campuses.
The poll was conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati on behalf of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health. Of those polled, 73 percent say they strongly support tobacco-free district policies, with 12 percent saying they somewhat favor the bans.
Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky president Susan Zepeda says the poll indicates that political affiliation isn’t important on this issue, with 87 percent of Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats favoring smoke-free school campuses.
“We also looked at it by region of the state and, not surprisingly, the areas that currently have a city or county smoke-free ordinance like Louisville and Lexington showed the strongest support," Zepeda said. "Although western Kentucky weighed in with 86 percent overall of adults favoring smoke-free campuses.”
Only 28 percent of Kentucky school districts currently have tobacco-free campuses. Zepeda said one explanation for districts not going smoke-free could be that parents assume they already are.
“And there may be some school employees who are still smokers who push back against it," Zepeda said. "So I think the answer and the dynamics may be different from district to district.”
Murray Independent, Marshall County and Webster County are among the Kentucky school districts that have elected to go smoke-free.