Rep. Susan Westrom will re-introduce statewide smoking ban bill

10/19/2011 07:18 AM

*UPDATED*FRANKFORT — State Rep. Susan Westrom, a Democrat from Lexington, plans to re-introduce in 2012 a bill to ban smoking statewide in indoor public places and work facilities.

Westrom introduced the bill last legislative session but said it ended up being more of a trial run to “educate” other legislators.

More than 30 cities have local ordinances that deal with some sort of a smoking ban, including Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green. But the rules vary from town to town, Westrom said, necessitating a statewide, uniform ban. The issue is scheduled to come up in Wednesday’s Health and Welfare Committee meeting.

But last week, all three gubernatorial candidates say they didn’t think a statewide smoking ban was necessary. Independent candidate Gatewood Galbraith said he opposed it. But Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican David Williams said they are fine with local options to ban smoking in public places.

That’s a change in position for Williams because he told Pure Politics last year that he thought it was time for a statewide smoking bill, which he said was a matter of health for people who work in bars and restaurants that allow smoking. Williams supported Westrom’s bill during the 2011 session, Westrom said. But she also noted that sometimes opinions change on the campaign trail.

UPDATED A spokeswoman for Williams’ Senate office, Lourdes Baez-Schrader, told Pure Politics that Williams did not support Westrom’s bill last legislative session.

-Reporting and video production by Kenny Colston


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