Two days after Peter Jennings died of lung cancer, Christopher Reeve’s widow announced she too has the disease. The difference: Jennings was a smoker and Dana Reeve is not.
While, second hand smoke is responsible for thousands of deaths each year, many Kentucky cities are trying to create a healthier environment.
Currently, Kentucky’s two biggest cities, Louisville and Lexington have smoking bans and Paducah is considering a voluntary ban. While, a resident’s group is pushing for a smoking ban in Daviess County.
Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker says as more information is released about the impact of second hand smoke, there’s more of an effort to create smoke free areas to protect people’s health.
Several Bowling Green restaurants wouldn’t discuss the idea of a smoking ban with us, but one local restaurant did say businesses would take a hit if a smoking ban were enforced.
"I think it will hurt us because there’s so many people who like to smoke especially after a meal," Ruth Helms, Manager of Kristie’s Kitchen said.
But health officials warn that second hand smoke kills more than 50,000 people a year and is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US.
Kentucky has the nation’s highest rate of adult smokers and leads the nation in lung cancer deaths. Despite statistics Bowling Green residents have mixed emotions on the topic.
While there’s not timetable for local government, lighting up is becoming a hot topic in the heart of tobacco country.