No Smoking at Workplaces in Alaska

Alaska Native People

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is very glad that 2014 Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp managed to adopt a statewide smoke-free law which prohibits smoking at workplaces in order to protect Alaska Native people from secondhand smoke effects.

The smoke law was initially proposed by Petersburg’s ANS President Brenda Louise. On October 11, the law was passed by the Grand Camp delegates. The new smoke-free law expands the existing one from a regional to a statewide level. ANB/ANS Grand Camp has sponsored smoke-free facilities, passing smoke-free resolutions for ANB/ANS Halls in 2003 and 2007.

It was estimated that among  Alaska Native people almost 45.1% are smoking and this is highest percentage in the USA. Native people prefer filter cigarettes to feel tobacco taste.

Center for Disease Control is worried that Alaska Native people are at high risks for smoking-related diseases. They say that smoking should be reduced and healthy lifestyle should be promoted.

Edy Rodewald, SEARHC tobacco health educator, considers that increasing taxes on cigarettes and adopting smoke-free policies are most effective measures to prevent young people from starting smoking. SEARHC is happiy to support anti-smoking measures and thanks Grand Camp’s Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood for the commitment.

These days smoke-free tendencies are growing across Alaska. In the state there are 114 Tribes who banned smoing at workplaces.

To mention, recently University of Alaska became smoke-free.

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