What are we doing?
Our Mission: To improve Kentucky's health by protecting Kentuckians from secondhand smoke and other tobacco emissions, and by reducing the high rate of smoking and tobacco use in the Commonwealth.
On July 1, 2018, the state excise tax on a pack of cigarettes in Kentucky rose from 60 cents to $1.10 on July 1, following a campaign by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow that launched in October 2017. The Coalition advocated for a $1 per pack increase, which was shown to reduce smoking particularly among youth and pregnant women in Kentucky. While the 50-cent increase will not achieve the significant health benefits the Coalition had sought, leadership in the state legislature said that it was the largest increase they could get enough votes to pass at the time. The last time the legislature raised the cigarette tax was in 2009, when it rose from 30 cents to 60 cents per pack. The revenue measure was a companion to the first budget passed by a Republican-led legislature in a century in Kentucky.
In 2019, the Coalition will engage in an intense, targeted campaign to reduce youth exposure to tobacco products while they are at school or engaged in school activities. We also will seek to increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in the Commonwealth, and continue to advocate for comprehensive local smoke-free ordinances in all workplaces. And we will continue to provide information about resources Kentuckians can use to quit smoking and other tobacco use.
In addition, we will bring to Kentucky lawmakers, health advocates and other stakeholders the very latest information regarding e-cigarettes and their impact on Kentucky’s health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that youth use of e-cigarettes has hit epidemic proportions and the data show that Kentucky teens and adolescents are trying and using e-cigarettes at higher rates than traditional, combustible cigarettes.