Paducah Smoke-Free Policy

Comprehensive Smoke-Free Policy 

On April 10, 2018, the Paducah Board of Commissioners voted to strengthen Paducah's smoking ordinance to a comprehensive smoke-free policy (Chapter 54, Article II, Division 2 of the Paducah Code of Ordinances).  The previous policy enacted in 2006 was considered to be a moderate policy which studies have shown not to be as effective as a comprehensive policy in reducing smoking rates.  Members of the McCracken County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) started working in 2016 educating the community about the benefits of a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance.  Presentations by the group were given in 2017 at the August 8 and December 19 City Commission meetings.

View the Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance >>

View the Comprehensive Smoke-Free Ordinance as Compared with 2006 Version (2018 changes/additions/deletions are in color) >>

Enclosed Areas and Places of Employment  The ordinance continues the prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places and extends the prohibition to all places of employment, whether public or private.  The following locations are exceptions:  private vehicles, retail tobacco stores, designated workplaces pursuant to KRS 61.165, private organizations or clubs, and private dwellings unless the dwelling also is used as a childcare facility, adult day care center, assisted living facility, hotel/motel guest room, or health care facility. 

The definition of place of employment is an enclosed area under the control of a public or private employer, including, but not limited to, work areas, private offices, employee lounges, restrooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, classrooms, employee cafeterias, hallways, common area, construction sites, and temporary offices.  A private residence is not a place of employment unless it is used as a childcare facility, adult day care center, assisted living facility, hotel/motel guest room, or health care facility.

Outdoor Areas  This ordinance also prohibits smoking in municipal and school-owned outdoor sports arenas and amphitheaters, public or private owned outdoor playgrounds, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds, and municipally-owned outdoor public parks, playgrounds, trails, shelters, swimming pools, and spray-grounds.  The outdoor area at Paxton Park Golf Course is an exception.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of smoking in this ordinance?  Smoke or smoking shall mean the act of possessing, carrying, burning, inhaling or exhaling any lighted or heated cigarette, cigar, or pipe, or any other lighted or heated tobacco or plant product intended for inhalation, including hookahs and marijuana, whether natural or synthetic, in any manner or in any form.  Smoking also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking in this Article.

Are electronic cigarettes and vaping including in this ordinance?  Yes, they are prohibited in the same locations where smoking is not allowed.  The definition of smoking also includes the use of an electronic smoking device which creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device.

Where is smoking not allowed?  Smoking is prohibited in any building or enclosed public place with some exceptions.  Smoking also is not allowed in certain outdoor places including outdoor sports arenas and amphitheaters, outdoor playgrounds, shelters, swimming pools, and spraygrounds.  Smoking is not allowed in the parks owned by the City of Paducah except for outdoor area at Paxton Park Golf Course.

Where is smoking allowed?  Smoking is allowed in private vehicles, at dwellings (unless the dwelling is also used as a childcare facility, adult day care center, assisted living facility, hotel/motel guest room, or health care facility), on city sidewalks, in retail tobacco stores and private organizations and clubs, and at least 15 feet away from the entrance to a building or enclosed public place.

Why is Paxton Park Golf Course exempt from the smoking policy?  The outdoor area at Paxton Park Golf Course is excluded from the ordinance as a park facility because Paxton Park is primarily funded from private donors and not public dollars.It is overseen by a separate Board of Directors.  Paxton Park also competes with other local golf courses which would be exempt from the ordinance due to being private organizations or clubs.

What are citizens asked to do to enforce this policy?  Citizens have the right, but not an obligation, to ask someone violating the ordinance to stop smoking and follow the law.  If the person smoking doesn't comply, the citizen can report the person to the City Manager’s office or the Paducah Police Department. 

What are the possible penalties in violating this ordinance?  Fines range from $50 for the first violation within a 12 month period, $100 for the second violation within a 12 month period, and $250 for each violation within a 12 month period.  If someone is asked to stop smoking in an area where smoking is prohibited and refuses to extinguish their smoking material, the person may be required to leave the premises and subject to prosecution for trespassing.  If this ordinance is violated by the person who controls a building or enclosed public place, there is the possibility in the suspension or revocation of any permit or business license issued by the City.


Smoking Cessation

In the 30-minute documentary that aired in December 2017, Calling It Quits: Real Help to Stop Smoking, Kentucky Educational Television (KET) presents an overview of evidence-based services and options for people who want to end their smoking addiction.  In the program, several tobacco control experts explain how receiving nicotine from cigarettes leads to a chronic addiction and devastating health effects.  The program also shows how these medical professionals and advocates are working to provide smokers with the resources and support they need to quit for good and improve their health.  The main forms of behavioral counseling are explored (group, telephone and individual) as well as the seven FDA-approved medications for tobacco cessation.  It also offers inspiration to those who want to quit.  This program is funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Kentucky’s Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) is a telephone counseling service that provides one-on-one advice and support. It is operated through a call center that also serves 15 other states, located at National Jewish Health in Denver, one of the nation’s leading respiratory hospitals.  At the call center, counselors are trained to use a patient-first, welcoming approach to help persuade callers to commit to four or five coaching sessions in total. 

For more resources, visit KET’s Smoking and Health initiative.