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A Call for Clean Air.

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When was the last time you used the expression “A Breath of Fresh Air?” It’s not really in vogue right now. Maybe because it’s not partisan enough or tech speak friendly. Can you text or twitter, “A Breath of Fresh Air” …. ABOFA!! I can’t think of any code word inferences of “A Breath of Fresh Air” that would always favor the user. Who’s against it, unless you’re the “Un-fresh Air?”

“Smoke Free” on the other hand, immediately draws attention and lines of offense and defense are formed. Smoke Free Kentucky, a coalition of non-profit businesses and other interest groups is organizing a campaign for a state-wide smoking ban. Legislation that will ban smoking in all public places will be introduced in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2013 by Representative Susan Westrom, D-Lexington.

Westrom expects opposition from various groups who say the smoking ban is a government intrusion into personal property rights. Studies from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce say about 70% of Kentucky businesses support a smoking ban. Healthy employees are good for business and studies show that smoking bans have not adversely affected bars and restaurants when enacted.

Outgoing KMA president Dr. Shawn Jones led the Smoke Free Paducah effort. Dr. Jeremy Engel a family medicine doctor with St. Elizabeth Physicians in Northern Kentucky is running point for a smoke free northern Kentucky.

Last November, a group of Louisville physicians and healthcare administrators gathered to discuss the deleterious effects of air pollution at “Sacred Air: Breath of Life” at the annual Festival of Faiths. During the discussion conducted by KMA past-president Dr. Gordon Tobin, Dr. Jesse Roman, pulmonologist & chair of Department of Medicine stated that “Lung disease is a global problem, an epidemic.” Roman was addressing lung disease as a result of environmental air pollution from bio-mass fuel production.

The point is, there is awareness by many in the healthcare community that breaths of fresh air are needed, not in the metaphorical sense, but the real, everyday sense. We applaud and encourage those community members who are acting on their belief in the fresh air approach.

If you’re interested in aiding the legislative effort, go to

August 2012

Best regardsGil DunnPublisher, M.D. Update