Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Study Shows Pain Pill Prescriptions Dropping

Jul 26, 2018

A new poll shows a significant drop in the number of Kentucky adults who say they’ve been prescribed pain pills.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll says 34-percent of adults say they got prescriptions for pain medicine over a five-year-period leading up to—and including--2017.

That’s a drop of 21-percentage points from a similar poll taken in 2011.

A 50 cent increase in Kentucky’s cigarette tax becomes official this weekend. Health advocates hope the per-pack hike will prompt many smokers to quit.

Come Sunday, a pack of cigarettes at Kentucky retailers will cost 50 cents more than the day before.  Coalition for a Smoke Free Tomorrow Chairman Ben Chandler says it’s an ideal time to quit.

The CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has a mixed reaction to the just approved cigarette tax increase in Frankfort.

  Ben Chandler and other health advocates had been pushing lawmakers to raise the per pack tax on cigarettes by one dollar.  “We think it was a missed opportunity because they’re not going to get the health benefits they would have gotten had they added a dollar on to the tax.  But, that being said, it is a historic tax increase here in Kentucky on a pack of cigarettes,” said Chandler.

Stu Johnson

Both Lexington’s city run baseball fields and Whitaker Bank Ballpark, home of the Lexington Legends, are now tobacco free.  The announcement came this morning at the ballpark facility off North Broadway. 

 Amy Barkley is with the statewide Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. “It just sort of reinforces what has already been happening in the minor leagues, which is the players are not allowed to use tobacco and now by making it clear that no-one in the entire facility is allowed to use tobacco, it continues that really positive role modeling that we need,” said Barkley.

Another weekly news conference on a proposed dollar increase in the state’s cigarette tax was held Thursday at the state capitol.  The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has been sponsoring a series of events, designed to raise awareness about the tax proposal.  Speakers this week talked about the high percentage of people with mental illness who smoke.  

Ramona Johnson is CEO of Bridgehaven Mental Health Services in Louisville. “Helping them to break that addiction and stop smoking then gives them some disposable income that they’ve not had before,” said Johnson.

Kentucky's Health Ranking Shows Slight Uptick

Dec 13, 2017

Kentucky has made some progress in improving the health of its citizens.  The proof is found in some recent national ratings.

Mary Meehan


Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.”

But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post  around the school.

Kick It Kentucky Week Promotes Smoking Cessation

Sep 28, 2017
Stu Johnson

More than two dozen health organizations are promoting the physical benefits found soon after quitting smoking. 

They did so Wednesday in announcing the first Kick It, Kentucky week.

Stu Johnson

Participants at Monday’s Health Policy Forum in Lexington heard a message about combating opioid addiction from journalist Sam Quinones. 

The Los Angeles Times reporter, spent ten years doing freelance work in Mexico.

Health Advocacy Group Moving Toward Policy Focus

Jul 13, 2017

The president of a Kentucky health advocacy organization says it’s a time of transition for his agency.  

The CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky spoke at a meeting of the Lexington Rotary Club Thursday.


Forum Focuses on Health as Economic Driver

Sep 19, 2016
Stu Johnson

Health advocates are stressing the importance of a healthy community as a way to help spur on economic growth.  That connection was discussed at a health policy forum in Lexington Monday.

More Kentuckians are supportive of higher insurance rates for smokers than for those who are obese, according to a new health issues poll.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky conducted the study which found a majority of non smokers and former smokers agree higher rates are justifiable for smokers.

Murray State University psychology professor Sean Rife says part of that difference is that people see smoking as an active choice while obesity is more complicated.