Indoor Air Quality

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

With major cities like Lexington and Louisville already smoke-free, health officials in one Eastern Kentucky county are looking at what the benefits are for their communities.

The message of the Breathe Easy: Perry County Partnership is a simple one.

“Second hand smoke kills. That's the message that we're trying to get out there,” said Sherry Payne with the American Cancer Society and a member of the coalition.

The Breathe Easy coalition partnered with the University of Kentucky to take indoor air quality tests at area businesses like restaurants, where people are exposed to second hand smoke. Findings show the level of indoor air pollution is nearly three times higher than the national ambient air quality standard for outdoor air.

“I think it should be a wake up call to the people in Perry County to say we're putting our people at risk everyday they go to work,” said Dr. Ellen Hahn with the University of Kentucky.

Frances Napier owns France’s Diner and says she knows the risk but is afraid stopping people from smoking might hurt business.

“I'd rather not be smoking in the restaurant but you know, when you're in business you've got to try and satisfy everybody,” said Napier.

It is mixed opinions among some restaurant goers.

“I don't think that people ought to be allowed to smoke in an atmosphere where it would affect other people's health,” said Bob Deaton, one restaurant-goer.

“From a smoker's standpoint, I like the idea of having a diner, lunch, whatever and being able to smoke afterwards and chit chat,” said Regina Hamilton, a restaurant customer.

“The main thing about is, it's not your personal feeling about smoking, it's the fact that it is causing people to die,” said Payne.

Members of the Breath Easy coalition say right now, they are only pushing for more awareness on the issue and not new laws. The air samples were taken at ten random establishments in Perry County.

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