Citing Kentucky’s continued worst state ranking in smoking and cancer deaths, Governor Steve Beshear announced today that all executive branch state property campuses will be tobacco-free effective November 20 – the day of the Great American Smokeout.
That means no cigarettes, tobacco products or e-cigarettes may be used in state-owned or leased buildings, in state-owned vehicles or on state property (including parking lots, sidewalks, and green space). Tobacco users will have to leave the property to smoke or use other tobacco products.
The policy impacts 2,888 state-owned buildings – making more than 26.4 million square feet newly tobacco-free. The Commonwealth also leases space in 568 other structures, and the Finance Cabinet will work with those landlords to post signs indicating the tobacco-free zones.
Kentucky is the fifth state to institute such a policy. State government is the largest single employer in Kentucky, and the tobacco-free rule will affect approximately 33,000 state workers, as well as hundreds of thousands of visitors to these state offices and properties.
A primary goal of Governor Beshear’s kyhealthnow initiative is to reduce smoking rates by 10 percent by 2019.