Why a smoke-free Covington?

Smoking is literally killing Covington,

exposing our children and workers to secondhand smoke every day, and creating a financial burden for businesses and residents alike.

Northern Kentucky has some of the highest smoking rates and death rates due to tobacco use in the nation. This story map demonstrates the enormous toll tobacco has on the health and wellness of Northern Kentuckians.

Here are the facts:

  • In 2017, tobacco related illness contributed to 843 deaths in NKY – over 100 residents in Covington alone.
  • Local healthcare data from 2018 showed that Covington patients who smoke have up to 23x more chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 7x more lung diseases, 6x more diabetes, and twice as much heart disease.
  • Due to the high rates of smoking, many residents and visitors are also exposed to higher concentrations of secondhand smoke. In drinking establishments that allow smoking, workers are exposured to 16x higher rates of secondhand smoke than in non smoking establishments.
  • Because smoking is a “norm” in Covington – it is harder to quit. Cigarette butts, seeing people smoke, and abundance of tobacco retailers serves as a trigger to smoke and reduces support for quitting
  • E-cigarette use such as “Juul” has risen at alarming rates among Covington youth. Young people who use e-cigarettes are 30.7% more likely to begin smoking than a non user of e-cigarette products. These products are giving rise to the next generation of cigarette users.

Our residents and businesses pay a heavy price for smoking and smoking-related illness. Even non-smokers pay the price of additional health related problems because of the higher rates of secondhand smoke exposure, including:

  • More than $2.7 billion in lost productivity for businesses in Kentucky.
  • For individual businesses in the U.S., each employee who smokes costs an employer an average of $5,816 annually above the cost of a person who never smoked.
  • Per smoker, excess absenteeism costs an average of $517 per year.
  • Per smoker, reduced productivity related to the effects of nicotine addiction costs an average of $462 per year.
  • Per smoker, smoke breaks, cost an average of $3,077 a year.
  • Per smoker, extra health care costs (for self-insured employers) costs an extra $2,056 per year

For Kentucky families, each household contributes $1,116 in state and federal taxes for smoking-related costs. Even non-smokers pay the price of additional health related problems because of the higher rates of secondhand smoke exposure.

Our goals are pretty straightforward – let’s create a healthier Covington!

Provide our family, friends, and neighbors with the resources they need to

Decrease secondhand smoke exposure– and the dangers that go along with it.

Encourage our local businesses and residents to support and adopt a healthier smoke-free Covington.