Today, the American Lung Association issued the following statement from senior advocacy director JoAnna Strother regarding the signing of the Nich’ Éí Bee Ííná – Air is Life Act of 2021:
“The American Lung Association applauds Navajo Nation leaders for passing and signing the Nich’ Éí Bee Ííná – Air is Life Act of 2021. Smokefree laws have proven to protect all workers and patrons from the dangers of secondhand commercial tobacco smoke, reduce death and disease associated with secondhand smoke, motivate smokers to quit such tobacco products and reduce the number of people who start smoking commercial tobacco products. This law will protect the health of all workers and patrons on the Navajo Nation from the dangers of these widely available and dangerous tobacco products.
Almost 15 years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke and that eliminating smoking in indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect people from exposure. In addition to protecting the public from secondhand smoke, smokefree public places and workplaces, including casinos protect the health of workers and customers by reducing transmission of COVID-19 via smokers who are not wearing masks. During the COVID-19 epidemic, it is imperative to protect people from secondhand smoke and do everything possible to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
Secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and heart disease and worsens existing health conditions including asthma and COPD. Everyone deserves the chance to lead a healthy life, and that means having a safe work environment free from the health harms associated with secondhand commercial tobacco smoke.
The American Lung Association will continue to advocate for comprehensive smokefree laws and policies. We strongly urge other communities to adopt a smokefree policy for the health and safety of their residents.”
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.