LOUISVILLE, Ky., October 6, 2017)report published by Truth Initiative, a nonprofit organization established as part of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and dedicated to ending tobacco use, includes Kentucky as one of 12 states in “Tobacco Nation” where smoking rates are higher than “not only the national average, but that of many of the most tobacco-dependent countries in the world.” Tobacco control measures are less prevalent and less stringent in this region, the report states. As a result, it says, residents of this region are sicker and die earlier than residents throughout the rest of America.

Below is a statement from Ben Chandler, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, about this report:

“The Tobacco Nation report paints a stark picture of the health benefits policymakers can achieve by enacting stronger laws proven to protect the public from secondhand smoke and reduce smoking rates. The good news is that we know what works to reduce tobacco-related disease and illness. The bad news is that Kentucky leads the other 11 ‘Tobacco Nation’ states in smoking, cancer and COPD. But with stronger laws and ordinances – including higher state tobacco taxes and local smoke-free ordinances covering indoor workplaces – Kentucky can lead regional health improvements.”

About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested nearly $26.7 million in health policy research and advocacy, as well as demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Follow the Foundation on TwitterFacebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.

Media Contacts:
Bonnie J. Hackbarth
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Angela Koch