Gov. Steve Beshear has rolled out a wide-ranging plan aimed at improving Kentucky's overall health.
The goals include cutting Kentucky's high rates of smoking, obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease by 10 percent by 2019. Another key objective is reducing Kentucky's uninsured rate to less than 5 percent.
Beshear said Thursday that Kentucky's dismal health status hurts productivity, from workplaces to classrooms. The state ranks among the worst nationally in smoking, obesity, cancer deaths and other chronic ailments.
Beshear says the goals will be met through executive and legislative actions, public-private partnerships and higher enrollments for health care coverage.
He says the push to lower smoking rates includes proposed legislation to impose a statewide smoking ban at workplaces and in public buildings. It also includes a proposed higher state cigarette tax rate.