Over 150 professionals gathered at Lexington’s Doubletree Hotel Tuesday for the 2014 Smoke Free Conference. Ranging from mayors and politicians to advocates and health care professionals, their goal was the same, discuss ways to decrease tobacco use across the Commonwealth. One prominent attendee was former University of Kentucky President Lee Todd, who led the effort to make the campus smoke free.
“Guess we were the first land grand public University to do that in America, which made me very proud, and now they’ve chosen to put my name on an award which is another great thing that I really appreciate," he said.
The Lee T. Todd Jr. Smoke-free Hero award was one of several honors and went to the Bullitt County Board of Health, which pushed for regulations against smoking in public places. In addition to awards, the conference featured talks on e-cigarettes, smoking in the workplace, and other subjects. Dr. Todd says the cause has gained ground in recent years, but needs grassroots support.
"The hard part is communities have to make the decision and elected officials have to stick with it in order for us to get this passed," he remarked.
The attendees hope that with new regulations, the air can get just a bit clearer.