Even if the outcome is unlikely to be different, a statewide smoking ban on Kentucky has passed the Kentucky House of Representatives by a vote of 51-46. The bill’s sponsor is once again Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington.

This is the fifth consecutive year Westrom has proposed a smoking ban. Last year, the measure never reached a vote in the House because Democrats were fearful that supporting the legislation would hurt their ability to retain a majority in the House. It now moves to the Republican-controlled Kentucky Senate were passage is considered highly unlikely.

Patrick Lagreid summarized the bill in an earlier story:

The proposed ordinance would not only prohibit indoor smoking in businesses but create a 15-foot buffer zone from those locations in which smoking would be prohibited. Hotels and other forms of lodging would no longer be able to allow smoking in designated rooms.

Exemptions provided by the ban are few and narrow, focusing on laboratories at educational institutions, tobacco manufacturers or certain researchers, as well as in tobacco barns or buildings on private farms. There is currently not an exemption for premium cigar stores or tobacco retailers, though that was added to last year’s proposal via an amendment.

Enforcement of the ban would be handled by police officers, designated employees of the Department for Public Health, designated employees of the local health department, and designated employees of a unit of local government. Fines for violating the ban could be levied on both the smoker and business owner; those lighting up would be fined $100 for a first violation and $250 for each subsequent violation, while business owners who allow smoking would get a first-time fine of $250, while a second offense in a calendar year would cost $500 and subsequent offenses jump to $2,500.

Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.