The Mason County Buffalo Trace District Health Department recently found that 67 percent of Mason County residents would favor a county-wide smoking ban during a poll.
According to Health Department Spokesperson Ellen Cartmell, the ordinance favored by residents would include public buildings, workplaces, bars and restaurants smoke-free.
“This statistic is just one finding of a professional opinion poll that surveyed registered votes in Mason County in December 2017,” Cartmell said.
According to Cartmell, the survey results also found that 81 percent of voters consider second-hand smoke a health hazard as it causes nearly 50,000 deaths each year across the nation.
“Sixty-nine percent of respondents agree that a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance protects public health,” she said. “The results of the poll also show that majorities of smokers, former smokers and non-smokers all support the idea of a county-wide smoke-free ordinance…with the strongest support coming from people between the ages of 18-24 and 25-34.”
Similar polls were conducted in 2007 and 2012 with similar results, according to Cartmell.
“And every time the results have shown more and more support for this kind of ordinance,” she said. “Our support levels are now higher than Lexington’s were when they went smoke-free back in 2004.”
Maysville Young Professionals Network Visioning Committee Chair Justin Denham said he supports the ordinance.
“In order to continue attracting young people and tourists, this community needs to make an extra effort to be welcoming,” he said. “Let’s not let smoking indoors get in the way.”
Justa Thomas, a member of the smoke-free partnership of Mason County, also agreed with the county passing such an ordinance.
“As a former smoker, I believe having a smoke-free ordinance in our community will benefit those who want or are trying to quit smoking,” she said. “Self-control only gets us so far in fighting the addiction to smoking. With boundaries to observe and policies by which to abide, the choice not to smoke is made for us, which makes limiting the amount we smoke easier and quitting more feasible.”
Cartmell said anyone who is interested in showing support for a smoke-free ordinance can reach out to the Smoke-Free Partnership of Mason County, which is a branch of the Mason County Health Coalition.
The group has a Facebook page and uses the hashtag #SmokeFreeMasonCo, according to Cartmell.