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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Public forums to reduce smoking rates rescheduled

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 06, 2005  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Crace (502)564-6786  

Public forums to reduce smoking rates rescheduled

 (Oct. 6, 2005) A series of state-wide public forums, originally scheduled for September, has been rescheduled to continue raising awareness of the dangers of smoking.

Initially, the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program – part of the state Department for Public Health (DPH) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) – and the Get Healthy Kentucky! board had planned nine forums to take place at various locations. Seven of the forums were canceled due to the limitations placed on state government travel as a result of a recent spike in gas prices.

The forums now are set to take place in late October and continue through November. An additional forum, which will be held in Ashland, has been added to the schedule. Those who had signed up previously do not need to reregister and will be notified via postcard of the new date.

The intent of the forums, which are similar to last year’s successful obesity forums, is to raise awareness of the enormous economic and human toll of tobacco use in Kentucky and to gather information from residents on tackling the issue.

 “The health consequences of tobacco use are incredible,” said James Holsinger Jr., M.D., CHFS secretary and Get Healthy Kentucky! board chairman. “Add to the massive human cost, the staggering smoking attributable economic costs – especially in terms of health care and lost productivity – and it’s clear that smoking is literally and figuratively killing us as a state.”

According to DPH’s 2005 report “Tobacco Use in Kentucky,” more than 8,000 Kentuckians die annually from tobacco-related illnesses.  Among high school students and adults, nearly one in three smokes cigarettes. Kentucky ranks first in the nation in cigarette use. At current smoking rates, 87,902 Kentucky children 18 or younger will die prematurely from smoking.

In 2001, among men ages 35-64, 91 percent of all trachea, lung and bronchus cancer deaths in Kentucky were the result of smoking. The total smoking-attributable medical expenditures in Kentucky are approximately $1.2 billion annually - that equals an economic burden of $300 for each of the four million residents of the state.

“Tobacco has been a big part of Kentucky’s culture throughout its history, and the result has been an increase in tobacco use and a corresponding increase in all the adverse health and economic consequences,” Holsinger said.  “We recognize that individuals are responsible for their behavior. Still, as a state, we must also make some larger societal changes to help support healthy environments and implement sound policies that encourage people to make healthy choices.”

The tobacco report and regional forums are funded by a grant from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Letters of invitation to attend the forums were sent to members of the Kentucky Medical Association, mayors, county judge-executives, school principals, legislators and other community leaders.

To register online, go to:

2005 Tobacco Forums

Northern Kentucky
The Marquise Conference and Banquet Center
Town Drive
Wilder, KY 41076 Oct. 27, 2005 1 - 5 p.m. EDST
Snacks provided

Bowling Green
Holiday Inn, University Plaza
1021 Wilkinson Trace
Bowling Green, KY 42103 Nov.1, 2005 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. CDST
Lunch provided

Center for Rural Development
2292 South Highway 27, Suite 300
Somerset, KY 42501-2905 Nov. 3, 2005 1 - 5 p.m. EDST
Snacks provided

Clarion Conference Center
9700 Blue Grass Parkway
Louisville, KY 40299-1904 Nov. 8, 2005 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDST
Breakfast provided

Holiday Inn North
1950 Newtown Pike
Lexington, KY 40508 Nov. 10, 2005 1 – 5 p.m. EDST
Snacks provided

Experimental Theatre at River Park
101 Daviess Street
Owensboro, KY 42302 Nov. 16, 2005
11 a.m. - 3 p.m. CDST
Lunch provided

Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center for the Performing Arts
100 Kentucky Avenue
Paducah, KY 42001  Nov. 18, 2005
Please use box office entrance  11 a.m. - 3 p.m. CDST
Lunch provided

Park Place Grill
1701 Central Ave.
Ashland, KY 41101 Nov. 21, 2005 5 - 9 p.m. EDST
Dinner provided



Last Updated 10/6/2005