Hundreds of Kentucky residents, along with state officials and coalition members rallied in Frankfort for a statewide smoking ban on Thursday.
Former UK basketball star Derek Anderson, Gov. Steve Beshear, state representatives and Smoke Free Coalition members were all in attendance.
The Kentucky Legislature's Health and Welfare Committee passed a proposal that would make it illegal to smoke in public places earlier this week. House Bill 190 would protect patrons from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke while allowing smokers to light up outside.
Twenty-seven communities across Kentucky have already enacted restrictions on smoking in public places.
"I think [the smoking ban] is a good idea in general for the overall health," said Kentucky native Brian Tucker. "I'm aware of the effects of second hand smoke and I believe that smokers have rights, but I believe that non-smokers have rights too and if you want to smoke you can walk outside just as easy."
However, the Kentucky proposal has met quite a large opposition.The state has the highest rate of smoking in the nation. It is estimated that 25% of Kentuckians smoke on a regular basis. Smokers say that the proposal would violate their rights.
Many bars and businesses fear that a smoking ban would be bad for business.
"I think it's going to drive [business] away," said Kentucky bartender Jason Abbott. "For those people that like to smoke, they can go to a smoking restaurant and for those who don't like to smoke they can go to a non-smoking restaurant. Free enterprise has worked pretty well just the way it is and to tell people they don't have a choice I think is wrong."
The economic impact of tobacco can not be denied. Tobacco has brought billions of dollars to the state of Kentucky. However,there is also a clear health risk associated with the presence of tobacco. Kentucky has the highest rate of lung cancer in the nation.
Sunday, May 19 2013 11:31 PM EDT2013-05-20 03:31:42 GMT
Relatives and dozens of Beech Island community members gathered today in front of Island Cuts Barbershop to remember Zann Worrell. "I was totally surprised and very happy that everybody came out becauseMore >>
Dozens of Beech Island residents gathered tonight to remember Zann Worrell, who was fatally shot in his barbershop on Saturday afternoon.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 6:18 PM EDT2013-05-19 22:18:38 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
UPDATE: Neighbors are shocked after two suspects shot three dogs in a New Ellenton neighborhood Saturday night. More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 4:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 20:20:12 GMT
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island. Aiken County dispatch said it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are at least two suspects,More >>
Aiken County Coroner's office has confirmed that 32 year old Zann Worrell Jr. of North Augusta died at GRU Medical Center on May 18, 2013 at 3:37 p.mMore >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 3:11 PM EDT2013-05-19 19:11:10 GMT
Richmond County Dispatch confirms there has been a stabbing at a Family Dollar. Deputies say it happened on the 2900 block of Dean's Bridge Road around 7:18 tonight. Information is limited at this tiMore >>
UPDATE: Richmond County investigators said Tonya S. Terry was stabbed several times in the chest area inside the Family Dollar on Dean's Bridge Road Saturday evening.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:04 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:04:50 GMT
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road. Firefighters were on the scene until around 8:30 a.m. No injuriesMore >>
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road.
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:23:19 GMT
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by whatMore >>
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by what investigators said was a bat along the Augusta Riverwalk on May 3rd.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:19 GMT
Instead of spending the day at the computer, some Augustans spent their day learning about it. People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta'sMore >>
People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta's growth in the technology sector.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 21:55:44 GMT
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.Bradford was a Grovetown resident, according to information from a DynCorp spokesperson.The spokesperson toldMore >>
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:47:31 GMT
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday. Columbia County dispatch said two cars were involved withMore >>
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:40:22 GMT
Richmond County Sheriff's Office released the following information in regards to Deputy Creech: Sheriff Roundtree and the family of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech would like to thank everyone within our community forMore >>
Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension, Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013 at 11am. Deputy Creech will lie in state for one hour prior to the service.More >>