States nationwide have been banning indoor tobacco use for a number of years and Kentucky may soon join that list.
A poll released by Kentucky health advocates shows nearly 60 percent of voters in the state support legislation that would prohibit smoking in dining establishments and most public places. Additionally, almost half of all voters say secondhand smoke is a "serious health hazard."
Thoracic Oncology Clinic director Dr. Goetz Kloecker says it's important for everyone to limit their exposure to tobacco smoke.
"Secondhand smoke causes death and disease. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke," says Kloecker. "Even brief exposure puts a person at risk for a heart attack or an asthma attack. Every exposure to the cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage DNA in a way that leads to cancer."
Smoking has been tied to a number of serious medical conditions, such as lung cancer, that can result in an early death and higher life insurance premiums. Thousands of people die from lung cancer each year. The Centers for Disease Control put the number at more than 158,600 in 2007.