FRANKFORT, Ky -- Kentucky health crisis is documented before a legislative committee. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky says 9000 people died from smoking in Kentucky last year, 1400 from drug overdoses, the state tops the nation in cancer deaths and youth smoking, and is 49th in adult smoking.
Speaking to the Interim Joint Health and Welfare Committee, Foundation Director Ben Chandler suggested passage of a statewide "smoke free" law and increasing the cigarette tax by at least $1 a pack in hopes of reducing smoking and smoking related cancer. Committee member Robert Benvenutti (R-Lexington) suggested that those who receive state and federal assistance should be required to quit smoking and be drug free.
Chandler says healthcare is currently a "rescue system" that treats people when they are ill instead of focusing on ways of helping people live healthier lives.