Poll: Even most smokers favor banning tobacco at schools – Cincinnati Business Courier

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A new poll found overwhelming support in Northern Kentucky for tobacco-free campuses at local schools.

Barrett J. Brunsman
Staff reporter- Cincinnati Business Courier

Nearly nine of 10 adults in Northern Kentucky favor tobacco-free campuses at local schools, according to recently released results of a poll.

Statewide, 84 percent of residents favored tobacco-free campuses, according to the Kentucky Health Issues Poll data released by the nonprofit Interact for Health (formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati). In Northern Kentucky, 88 percent of those polled favored such policies.

Support for such bans was high even among smokers (73 percent), according to the poll results announced April 16. Among former smokers, 89 percent favored such policies. Of those who had never smoked, 91 percent expressed support for tobacco-free campuses.

“To help keep kids from smoking, some school systems are adopting tobacco-free campus policies that would prohibit the use of tobacco by students, staff or guests while they are on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities,” said Ann Barnum, Interact for Health’s senior program officer for healthy choices about substance use.

Such policies have been adopted by 33 Kentucky school districts.

Kentucky has the highest rates in the nation for smoking and cancer deaths. More than 930,000 Kentucky adults are smokers, or 28.3 percent of the population.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll found that almost everyone interviewed favored requiring schools to provide at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day for students (97 percent).

Nearly eight out of 10 residents (78 percent) favored the new federal school nutrition standards for meals served to students. Those polled were informed that the standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture advocate reduced amounts of salt and saturated fats in meals, more whole grain food choices, establishing age-based calorie limits and portion sizes, and requiring students to select a fruit or vegetable.

The poll, which included 951 landline and 600 cellphone interviews, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent. The telephone survey of 1,551 adults throughout Kentucky was conducted from Oct. 25 to Nov. 26, 2013, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. It was paid for by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Brunsman covers Procter & Gamble Co. and health care.

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