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Support for Smoking Ban, Marijuana Grows; NKY Most Opposed to Health Care Reform

Support for a statewide smoking ban in Kentucky has swelled to 65% according to the newly released Kentucky Health Issues Poll, an annual report published since 2008.

29% of Kentuckians are opposed to a statewide smoking ban. Kenton County already has a partial smoking ban but residents and visitors can still light up in bars and other designated areas.

Naturally, support for the ban is largest among non-smokers at 84% while 72% of former smokers favor a ban. As for current smokers, 38% support a ban.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky issued the report and also published a survey specific to Northern Kentucky along with the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. Support for a statewide smoking ban is lower in this region than the state as a whole. Only 53% of respondents are in support of a statewide ban, though that represents a large increase from the 40% that supported a ban in 2010.

In the new survey, 40% in Northern Kentucky are opposed to a statewide smoking ban.

Smoking marijuana was also covered in the survey which found that 48% of people in Northern Kentucky believe that voters should decide whether pot should be available for medicinal purposes. 26% wanted to leave the issue to state legislators and 19% view it as an issue for federal lawmakers.

82% in Northern Kentucky are in favor of medicinal marijuana while just 38% support legalizing weed for any recreational use.

As for the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, Northern Kentucky was most supportive of the opposition. 39% in Northern Kentucky said that opponents of the health care reform law should continue their efforts, more than the rest of the Commonwealth as a whole.

Meanwhile, one in four Northern Kentuckians believe that Congress should expand the law.

The Affordable Care Act currently enjoys just a 29% favorable rating in Northern Kentucky while statewide it sits at 34%. More than 116,000 Kentuckians have enrolled in the new health care exchange created by the ACA.

64% of Northern Kentuckians said that health care costs were a financial burden. Across Kentucky, 64% of respondents said that they have put off medical care because of concerns over costs while onnly 47% in Northern Kentucky have done the same.

The survey which covered the entire state and designated Northern Kentucky as the counties of Boone, Campbell, Caroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen, and Pendleton, also covered economic and other health issues.

To read the results of the statewide smoking ban survey, click here (PDF)

To read the results specific to Northern Kentucky, click here (PDF)

For more information about the survey, click here