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Way to go, Skagway!

Posted: September 6, 2011 - 12:02am

Congratulations to Skagway for passing a comprehensive clean indoor air ordinance during its special election on Aug. 25.

By passing this ordinance, Skagway joins other Alaska communities concerned about protecting their residents from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Juneau, Klawock, Haines, Petersburg, Anchorage, Nome and Unalaska each have passed smoke-free ordinances that cover all workplaces — including bars and clubs. Communities with partial protection include Barrow, Dillingham, Fairbanks and Sitka.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, the science is clear: there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Making all Alaska workplaces, restaurants and bars smoke-free would prevent about 1,900 youth from becoming smokers, and within five years, an estimated $5 million would be saved in lung cancer, heart attack and stroke costs. Smoke-free policies protect people from secondhand smoke, reduce tobacco use overall, support healthy lifestyles, model healthy behavior and support quit attempts.

For more information on tobacco policy work please call 966-8745. For support in quitting tobacco, call Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. For SEARHC beneficiaries call the SEARHC Tobacco Quit Program at 1-888-966-8875. Both offer free one-on-one confidential support services are offered, as well as nicotine replacement products.

Amanda Roberts,

Tobacco Policy Coordinator

SEARHC Health Promotion

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