Healthy Living: Local News
Smoke Free Kentucky comes to Paducah
Story Updated: Aug 3, 2012
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. — Laverna Trimble says she doesn't think a smoking ban would put her out of business. She knows. She used to own two restaurants and now she owns one.
"Whenever the smoking ban went into effect in the city, the next year we closed because it took away from the business that much," she said.
That was about five years ago and now she's afraid a statewide smoking ban would kill her remaining restaurant The Lone Oak Little Castle.
But Bob Hoppmann, owner of The Pasta House Co., said businesses like Little Castle will kill people by exposing them to secondhand smoke.
"It was heartbreaking to see a young mother who's 23 sitting next to her mother who's 43, sitting next to her daughter who's 3-years-old, smoking. That's why I did it," he said.
He said snuffing out cigarettes in his restaurant didn't cost him a thing and he's confident the other businesses in the state will survive, too.
"In the long run, it probably evened out, so it's not like I'm a whole lot busier because of it but I'm glad I did it," he said.
The Smoke Free Coalition is claiming the same thing and they're hoping the third time's the charm when it comes to passing legislation instituting a smoking ban as 34 Kentucky communities already have.
"We knew from the beginning that it was going to be a multi-year campaign," said coalition member Toyna Chang. "We're going to make a much more concentrated focus and accelerated effort coming up in 2013 to pass a statewide smoke free law."
While they prepare for the next legislative session, Trimble said she'll prepare for the worst-case scenario, having to close her doors for good.
"In our area, we need all the jobs we can get. When we closed the truck stop we laid off 15 long-term employees, been there a long time. It hurts," she said.
The Smoke Free Coalition will make its last stop in the state Saturday at the Fancy Farm Picnic.