Alaska Gets an F for Smokefree Air American Lung Association Report Finds
(January 24, 2018) - Anchorage | Alaska
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2018 ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report finds Alaska lawmakers can do more to reduce the burden of tobacco use and secondhand smoke by passing a comprehensive statewide smokefree workplace law
The American Lung Association’s 2018 “State of Tobacco Control” shows Alaska could do more to save lives by implementing proven tobacco policies. The 16th annual report grades states on policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and finds that Alaska lags behind the nation to reduce and prevent tobacco use, and state policymakers must do more to prevent the death and disease associated with tobacco use and secondhand smoke.
This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” finds Governor Bill Walker and the state legislature have failed to enact a strong smokefree workplace law, a proven policy that will reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and save lives.
The American Lung Association in Alaska calls on Alaska state legislators and the governor to act now to pass a strong statewide smokefree indoor workplace law. According to the Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. If Alaska passes a comprehensive smokefree law that eliminates smoking in all public places and workplaces, workers across the state would benefit. This is especially critical for those who work in the service sector who are often exposed to secondhand smoke daily, oftentimes young adults. A person should not have to be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke to put food on the table.
Statewide polling shows strong and unwavering public support for a statewide law with 69 percent of Alaskans in favor of a smokefree workplace law. Over 1,000 Alaska businesses and organizations have signed resolutions in support of a law in Alaska to make all workplaces 100 percent smokefree. Most recently, the cities of Fairbanks and Kodiak as well Fairbanks North Star and Mat-Su Borough assemblies all passed resolutions in support of a statewide smokefree indoor workplace law.
As it did in 2016, the smokefree workplace bill passed the Senate 15-5 in 2017. It was then given two committees of referral in the House. It passed through the first committee and currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee, the final committee of referral, and has 20 House co-sponsors. Once the House Judiciary Committee hears and moves the smokefree bill in 2018, it can finally get a full floor vote that will reflect the overwhelming support for this bill, and all Alaskans can finally be protected from sec¬ondhand smoke.
For media interested in speaking with an expert about the “State of Tobacco Control” report, lung health, tobacco use and tobacco control policies, contact Marge Stoneking at the American Lung Association at Marge.Stoneking@Lung.org or (907) 644-6404.
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.
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1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) Lung.org