Beshear's Student Smoking Data May Be A Bit Iffy

According to Governor Steve Beshear’s office, cigarette smoking among Kentucky high school students has dropped significantly. The state allegedly dropped to sixth place among surveyed states in 2013 for high school cancer stick use, down from first place in 2011. That’s according to a Centers for Disease Control report.

From a release:

Survey results show that 17.9 percent of Kentucky high school students report current cigarette smoking, down from 24.1 percent in 2011. Nationwide, the rate is 15.7 percent. The marked drop means Kentucky has met its Healthy Kentuckians 2020 goal of reducing youth smoking to 19 percent, and is beginning to creep toward its kyhealthnow goal of reducing Kentucky’s smoking rate by 10 percent in the next five years.

In 1997, when the CDC first started tracking student smoking, the rate was 47 percent.

“When I announced our ambitious goals for kyhealthnow in February of this year, smoking was one of the most obvious areas we needed to address,” Gov. Beshear said. “I am pleased to see teen smoking trending downward, but I remain committed to further reducing cigarette use among our youth.”

“The marked improvement in the number of Kentucky high school students who report they currently smoke cigarettes shows a move in the right direction toward a healthier future for our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, who chairs the kyhealthnow initiative. “We will continue to work to advance the health of Kentuckians through the efforts captured and coordinated by kyhealthnow, which include a major focus on continuing to reduce tobacco use in the state, particularly among our young people.”

Unfortunately for Beshear?

People like Montgomery County Schools superintendent Joshua Powell are doing everything they can to keep kids smoking. Or at least doing absolutely nothing to stop it.

Take a look at these photos taken in Montgomery County:






FROM THE STERLING SCHOOL

All smoked by students, according to multiple sources — some of those sources aligned with Powell and some against.

Open records requests reveal that Powell has repeatedly been informed of the problem but there is no evidence (no text message or email history and no meeting histories) to suggest Powell or his team have ever taken action to stop it.

All that despite Montgomery County Schools being tobacco-free zones:


MONTGOMERY COUNTY SCHOOLS

When we reached out to folks at the Sterling School, they told us kids have designated smoking areas and it is definitely permitted.


STERLING SCHOOL SMOKING AREA

Concerned parents tell us the problem is getting increasingly worse each school year.

Don’t worry, though, nothing to see here, move along, puppies and rainbows.