The Alaska Legislature has recently formed a new sub-committee to look at two bills designed to reduce Medicaid costs. Though changing how health care is delivered to Alaskans will be an effective effort, the bill that is missing from their consideration is SB 1, the Smokefree Workplaces bill.
Cigarette smoking is the No. 1 cause of poor health, disease and death, costing the state of Alaska $536 million in direct medical costs and lost productivity. This amount does not include the health effects from second- and third-hand smoke exposure.