Hites received the 2009 Youth Advocate Award at the conference for his participation in proposing the smoke-free ordinance with the Floyd County Breathe Easy Coalition.
Hites attended a June meeting of the Prestonsburg City Council to express his concerns about smoking and why he supported the smoke-free workplace ordinance.
The Prestonsburg City Council passed the ordinance in August and the ban on indoor smoking will officially begin on Nov. 1. Prestonsburg is considered to be the first community in Eastern Kentucky with a comprehensive smoke-free workplace ordinance.
According to the University of Kentucky Clean Indoor Air Partnership, “The youth advocates and communities were recognized for their valuable contributions toward working to protect all workers and community members from secondhand smoke by educating local citizens on the dangers of secondhand smoke and advancing smoke-free policy in their local communities.”
The conference was created to share lessons learned from rural smoke-free communities and to update health advocates on the latest research concerning secondhand smoke and smoke-free policies.
Also at the conference, officials with city of Prestonsburg were recognized for leadership in protecting the public health. Gorman Collins accepted the 2009 Smoke-Free Community Excellence Award on behalf of the Prestonsburg City Council.