Tobacco: A subject rural journalists should cover

The U.S. has few tobacco farmers left, and they number fewer than 10,000 even in Kentucky, which has long had more growers than any other state. But rates of smoking and other tobacco use remain high i9n many rural areas, and the impact is seen in disease and death rates in those areas.

To help rural journalists in Kentucky cover tobacco issues in their communities, the Institute conducted three "Sorting Through the Smoke" seminars in Western, Central and Eastern Kentucky in mid-2009. Speakers discussed the impact of tobacco use on youth and the state budget, public-health approaches to tobacco use, the health effects of second- and third-hand smoke, and the effects of smoke-free laws and regulations on local health, economics, personal freedom and property rights.

The sessions were capped with lively question-and-answer sessions involving Jim Waters, left, policy and communications director for the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions; and Ellen J. Hahn, right, director of the tobacco policy research program and the Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy at the University of Kentucky. The sessions were moderated by Al Cross, center, director of the Institute.

Video of the sessions at the first seminar, in Danville, are available for downloading. For a presentation on tobacco's impact on the state budget, click here. For one on the impact on youth, click here. For a look at public-health approaches to tobacco use, click here. For a presentation on second- and third-hand smoke and smoke-free laws and regulations, click here. For the presentation on personal freedom and property rights, followed by the Q-and-A session, click here. (To stop and restart, hit your space bar.)

The seminars and a Webinar, to be held Oct. 15 from 2:30 to 4 p.m., were funded by Kentucky Youth Advocates with a grant from the American Legacy Foundation.

Institute for Rural Journalism & Community Issues
School of Journalism and Telecommunications, College of Communications & Information Studies
122 Grehan Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0042
Phone 859-257-3744 - Fax 859-323-3168

Al Cross, director al.cross@uky.edu

Last Updated: 10/06/2009