Health Issues Poll shows NKyians’ views; majority favor statewide smoking ban, report good health

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The Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP), conducted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Cincinnati’s Interact for Health, provides a snapshot of regional views — including Northern Kentucky’s, on health issues.

The data, now available online, are broken down into five regions: Northern Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Greater Lexington, Greater Louisville, and Western Kentucky. Each regional report outlines respondents’ answers to various health-related KHIP questions and then compares regional responses to statewide findings.

“These reports offer regional snapshots of Kentuckians’ views on various health issues,” said Susan Zepeda, President/CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. “Local perspectives on key health issues can be particularly useful for policymakers and health officials, especially those working on local community health initiatives.”

Toddler girl laughing while doctor examines

Among the issues examined by KHIP: views on a statewide smoke-free law, expansion of dating violence protections, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), school lunch policies, and insurance status.

Statewide KHIP results indicate the majority of Kentucky adults favor a statewide smoke-free law, support tobacco free school campus policies, favor the school nutrition standards and want mandatory physical education time at school.

Additionally, KHIP found Kentuckians strongly support the decision to expand Medicaid, have heard about the state’s insurance marketplace called kynect and generally do not eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diet.

The poll was conducted October 8-November 6, 2014, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. A random sample of 1,597 adults from throughout Kentucky was interviewed by telephone, including landlines and cell phones.

Key differences by region include:

· Western Kentucky: residents were less likely to have been offered help or counseling, from a doctor or nurse, to stop smoking.

· Greater Louisville: adults were more likely to say it is easy to purchase healthy foods in their neighborhood and less likely to have been offered help to quit smoking.

· Greater Lexington: adults were more likely to rate the conditions of their neighborhood sidewalks and shoulders as “excellent” or “very good.”

· Northern Kentucky: adults were more likely to report eating the daily amounts of fruits and vegetables and less likely to know about the state’s insurance marketplace, kynect.

· Eastern Kentucky: adults were more likely to have been offered help to quit smoking and less likely to rate their neighborhood as being a safe place to walk, jog or bike.

The Northern Kentucky findings report the views expressed by respondents from the Northern Kentucky Area Development District. About 10% of Kentuckians live in this 8-county region.

In general, responses from Northern Kentucky residents were comparable to the
state as a whole. Like the statewide results, in Northern Kentucky:

• The majority of adults favored a statewide, smoke-free law (63%)
• A slim majority favored adding an excise tax to e-cigarettes (54%)
• A majority said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should regulate the
sale and marketing of e-cigarettes (61%)
• A substantial majority favored expanding the Kentucky law on domestic
violence protection orders to include dating partners (81%)
• Respondents were nearly evenly divided on the idea of taxing soda and other
sugary drinks to pay for school nutrition and physical activity programs
• A majority favored adding a warning label to soda and other sugary drinks (65%)
• About 1 in 10 Northern Kentucky adults aged 18 to 64 were uninsured (15%)
• A majority reported having a usual and appropriate source of healthcare (79%)
• One in 3 had trouble paying medical bills in the past 12 months (33%)
• About 4 in 10 reported a favorable opinion about the Affordable Care Act (39%)

There were a few key differences in Northern Kentucky as compared with the rest
of the state. Adults in Northern Kentucky were more likely to:

• Rate their child’s school lunch as nutritious• Communicate with their doctor electronically via text, email or a website
• Know a friend or family member who has experienced problems because of
heroin use
• Report “excellent” or “very good” health


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