Sunday, January 5, 2003

Kentucky has highest rate of smokers, lung cancer deaths

By Stephenie Steitzer
Enquirer contributor

Northern Kentucky bars and restaurants are still smoky, and there are no proposals in any of the cities to ban smoking indoors.

At the last Great American Smokeout in November, 59 Northern Kentucky restaurants went smoke-free for a day. That was an increase from the 44 restaurants that participated in 2001.

Kentucky not only has the highest rate of adult smokers, but it also has the nation's highest lung cancer death rate per resident, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Cincinnati, which adopted smoking regulations in 1985, 283 restaurants took part in the Smokeout.

A ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court last August may change the city's smoking regulations.

In a 6-1 decision that flies against national trends toward tougher smoking regulations in public places, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that local health boards cannot ban smoking in public places.

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