Key Facts

Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties have not enacted a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in Northern Kentucky.

Boone and Campbell Counties have not enacted any kind of smoke-free ordinance, while Kenton County has passed a partial smoke-free ordinance. Numerous studies show that partial smoke-free ordinances do not lead to significant improvements in health outcomes. Only communities that pass a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance covering all workplaces and public spaces equally and with uniform enforcement experience an overall improvement in health outcomes and costs.

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Many Northern Kentucky businesses still allow smoking in the workplace.

37 percent exposed to second hand smoke at least one day per weekOpponents of comprehensive smoke-free policies often cite that the free market address concerns about secondhand exposure to smoke. However, the Greater Cincinnati Adult Tobacco Survey commissioned by Interact for Health found that:

  • More than one-half of Northern Kentucky adults (54%) report that their workplaces allow smoking — indoors, outdoors, or both. [1]
  • Almost 4 in 10 (37%) of these adults reported exposure to secondhand smoke at least one day per week.[1]
  • More than 1 in 10 (13%) of these adults reported exposure to secondhand smoke on a daily basis.[1]

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Smoke-free ordinances have either a positive economic effect or no effect on restaurant and bar revenues.

Other areas of Kentucky that have enacted smoke-free ordinances have shown either a positive or no impact on revenues for its restaurants or bars.[2] The same can be said for counties across the United States that passed comprehensive smoke-free ordinances.


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Exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous and is life-threatening.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has found that secondhand smoke is responsible for nearly 1,000 deaths in Kentucky each year.

The science is very clear regarding the dangers of secondhand smoke, according to a report on secondhand smoking by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This study found:

  • Secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system.
  • There is no “risk-free level” of exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Children exposed to second-hand smoke are at an increased risk for SIDS, acute respiratory infections, ear problems, and severe asthma.[3]


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Our federal, state, county, and local governments have a responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for its residents.

Employers don’t have an unfettered right to determine the working conditions of their employees. All levels of government have a tradition and responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for all of its residents.  Just like other harmful chemicals, materials, and toxins, secondhand smoke should be regulated to protect the rights of citizens to breathe clean air in a safe working environment. For those interested in quitting smoking visit Quit Now Kentucky for available resources.


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Not all Northern Kentuckians can get another job if they don’t want to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

Northern Kentuckians are not able to simply get another job if they don’t like their current working conditions.

This isn’t about whether an employee can obtain another job or not. This is about ensuring a safe working environment for thousands of Northern Kentucky workers from exposure to secondhand smoke, which contains more than 7,000 chemicals and toxins and can lead to terminal illnesses, such as cancer, pulmonary disease, and heart conditions. Just like other hazardous chemicals, gases, and toxins, secondhand smoke exposure needs to be regulated.

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A majority of registered voters in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – favor a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in their communities.

  • 75 percent of registered voters in Boone, Campbell, Kenton, and Grant Counties favor a smoke-free ordinance in their county. [1]
    • 68 percent of registered Democrats favor a smoke-free ordinance. [1]
    • 66 percent of registered Republicans favor a smoke-free ordinance. [1]
    • 65 percent of Independents favor a smoke-free ordinance. [1]

75 percent of all Northern Kentucky voters support smoke-free policies

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[1] Interact for Health (2020). Tobacco Use in Northern Kentucky