What are our priorities?
The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow Steering Committee has set the following priorities for 2021:
Local Control: The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow supports adopting a new state law to give county and city governments in Kentucky control to regulate the use, display, sale and distribution of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Currently, local control is prohibited by state law.
Local Control Position Statement
Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Funding Increase: Kentucky’s prevention and cessation program is funded at $2 million in fiscal year 2021, just 3.5 percent of the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ($56.4 million). The Coalition seeks to restore funding to 2020 levels ($3.3 million) for fiscal year 2022.
Prevention and Cessation Funding Restoration Position Statement
Passed in 2020 Tobacco 21: This law prohibits retailers from selling tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 (raising the age from 18). The new law also holds retailers responsible for underage sales.
Passed in 2020 E-cigarette Excise Tax: Before our campaign, e-cigarettes and vapes were subject only to sales taxes, while cigarettes and other tobacco products also were subject to state excise taxes. Given the popularity of e-cigs among youth and their sensitivity to prices, it made sense to adopt an e-cig tax parallel to the tax on cigarettes to help address the youth vaping epidemic. Ultimately, the legislature decided to add an excise tax of $1.50/pod on closed, cartridge-based e-cigarettes and 15 percent of the wholesale price on open systems. The new tax is effective August 1, 2020.
Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Funding Increase: Kentucky prevention and cessation programs are funded at just 6.7 percent of the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year ($3.8 million) The Steering Committee voted to seek funding for 2020 of $10 million.
Passed in 2019 100 Percent Tobacco Free Schools: Support a statewide law to make all public schools 100 percent tobacco-free, which will reduce peer pressure to use tobacco during school hours and at after-school events, and help create an environment where tobacco use is not the norm. This policy is a powerful tool for reducing tobacco use among teens and adolescents in Kentucky. Read more.
Adequate Funding for Tobacco Prevention and Cessation: Increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in Kentucky. These programs, offered through public health departments, are highly cost-effective, but require sufficient capacity, including both funding and staff. Stand by for more information, to be added soon.
Comprehensive Local Smoke-Free Ordinances: Help counties and cities enact comprehensive smoke-free ordinances covering all workplaces. Read more.
Support Quit Assistance: Educate the public and health care providers about cessation resources and ensure effective policy implementation by payers. Read more.
In addition, the Coalition is concerned about the impact of e-cigarettes – battery-operated devices that may resemble cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or even computer jump drives (e.g., Juul, Suorin) – on Kentucky’s health.
The devices heat a liquid, or e-juice, that delivers highly-addictive nicotine extracted from tobacco, chemicals and particles in the form of an inhaled aerosol. The Coalition will host a conference on these products on December 10 (register here), and supports the inclusion of e-cigarettes in smoke-free laws, among other policy measures. Read more.