LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 17, 2018) — The Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy (KCSP) and their community partners celebrated fifteen years of smoke-free stories across the Commonwealth during its annual conference, "Sharing the Smoke-free Story" on Wednesday, April 11, at the Lexington Convention Center.
The conference connected the many health advocates working on smoke-free workplace campaigns with resources and experts. The goal was to promote smoke-free environments, reduce the burden of tobacco use, and continue to make Kentucky a better place to breathe. Robert McMillen, professor at Mississippi State University, shared the successes of Mississippi’s 146 local smoke-free ordinances, located mostly in small, rural communities. Each year, KCSP recognizes the remarkable work of local leaders and organizations making progress in creating healthier, smoke-free communities.
“We are gaining substantial momentum for strong local smoke-free laws covering all workplaces,” said Ellen Hahn, professor and director of BREATHE at the UK College of Nursing. ”It was thrilling to hear the passion and commitment to smoke-free policy expressed by so many youth advocates and their adult mentors [from Casey and Owen counties].”
The cities of Clarkson and Salyersville each received the Smoke-free Indoor Air Excellence Award for their exceptional leadership and collaborative efforts in promoting the health of its citizens by enacting comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinances.
The Casey Youth Coalition earned the Smoke-free Youth Advocate award for excellence in promoting secondhand smoke education and smoke-free policy.
Owen County Schools received the Tobacco-free Campus Award for the exceptional leadership and collaborative efforts in promoting a healthy campus environment by implementing a 100 percent tobacco-free campus policy.
Both Louisville and Henderson were honored with smoke-free policy awards for modifying existing ordinances to include e-cigarettes.
This year's Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bobbye Gray, Tobacco Cessation Administrator for the Kentucky Department for Public Health, for her exceptional career devoted to leadership in tobacco control.
Emily Steer, Health Educator for the Mercer County Health Department, received the 2018 Lee T. Todd Jr. Smoke-free Hero Award, which recognizes courage, leadership, perseverance and continuous commitment to smoke- and tobacco-free environments in the face of adversity.
The Timothy W. Mullet, M.D., Lung Cancer Prevention Award, new in 2018, was presented to Kyle Hoylman, director of the Kentucky Association of Radon Professionals, for his leadership, devotion and passion for preventing lung cancer through education, advocacy and policy change in radon control.
Cynthia Brown, tobacco coordinator for the Bullitt County Health Department for the past 18 years, received the David B. Stevens, MD, Smoke-free Advocate of the Year Award for excellence in promoting secondhand smoke education and smoke-free policy. This year's nominees were: Cynthia Brown (Bullitt County Health Department); Melody Pike (Mercer County Health Department); Sarah Paige Tuttle (Owen County Schools) and Patrick Withrow, MD (Baptist Health Paducah).
The Kentucky Center for Smoke-free Policy (KCSP) is housed in the Tobacco Policy Division of BREATHE, a community-engaged research team devoted to lung health, in the UK College of Nursing. KCSP conducts policy outcomes research, and provides resources and strategies to assist advocates working on smoke- and tobacco-free campaigns across Kentucky.
Follow KCSP and #kcspsc on twitter and facebook @kysmokefree. BREATHE resources are available at www.breathe.uky.edu.
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue