LOUISVILLE, Ky.— In Kentucky more than 8 in 10 adults (85%) favor schools in their communities adopting tobacco-free school policies. Those are among the findings in the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Cincinnati-based Interact for Health.
Presently in Kentucky, 28% of school districts have 100% tobacco-free school policies. (The list can be found at www.tobaccofreeschoolsky.org.) These policies prohibit the use of tobacco by students, staff, parents or guests while on school grounds and at school-sponsored activities such as field trips and sporting events.
In 2015, 23% of Kentucky middle school children reported trying cigarettes and 28% of high schoolers said they currently used cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco.
KHIP highlights include:
- 85% of Kentucky adults favor school systems adopting tobacco-free campus policies; similar results were reported on the 2013 KHIP.
- Large majorities of non-smokers, former smokers, and current smokers favor tobacco-free campus policies in their communities.
- Support for tobacco-free campus policies was strong among Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
“Poll findings show that support for the health of our children cuts across party lines,” said Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Health Kentucky. “A 100% tobacco-free campus policy reduces a young person’s exposure to second-hand smoke and allows adults to model tobacco-free lifestyles. Notably, Kentucky smokers understand this important issue. Eighty percent of current smokers favor tobacco-free school policies in their communities.”
Sponsored annually by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the Kentucky Health Issues Poll is a 1,600-household phone survey, polling Kentuckians for their views on key health policy issues likely to come before the legislature or local policymaking bodies. Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is a non-profit philanthropic organization whose mission is to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity.