Kentucky Senate approves tobacco ban at public schools

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Senate has approved a bill that would ban all tobacco products at public schools and at school-sponsored activities.

The Senate on Wednesday voted 25-8 to send the bill to the state House of Representatives, which must approve it before it could be signed into law.

Republican Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who is the bill sponsor and a medical doctor, said the law aims to reduce the state's high rate of youth smoking. The state Department of Education says of the state's 173 school districts, 36 percent ban tobacco products.

School boards would have to decide how to enforce the ban. But punishments could not include incarceration, suspension or expulsion of a student.

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