Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

Action Alert

Alaskans, speak up for smokefree air!

Publication Date: 3/22/2016

You Are Making a Difference! The Smokefree Alaska Bills Are Moving!

Please take a moment to call or email your Alaska Senate and House representative to voice support for Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 328.

Let your lawmakers know that you support  smokefree air inside workplaces and public places - without any exemptions for indoor use of electronic smoking devices.

Call your lawmakers office directly! Click here to find your district Senator or Representative’s phone number.  Lawmakers often track numbers of calls received on issues, so your feedback is important.

Send an email today! Click here to find your state senator and legislator.  Then click on the left hand buttons for your Senator and Representative.

Smokefree Alaska’s Senate Bill 1 has passed all committees and will soon be scheduled for a full Senate vote.  House Bill 328, the companion bill on the House side, is being heard this week in its first committee, Health and Human Services. 

Background:

  • Local smokefree indoor air laws protect half of Alaska’s population. A statewide law would extend that same protection to everyone in the state. This law would save lives and health care costs for generations to come from the staggering toll of secondhand smoke.

  • E-cigarette industry proponents, including tobacco companies, often lobby to allow use of their products inside smokefree environments. Their goal is not public health, but rather to maximize profits by enabling product consumption inside otherwise smokefree environments.  E-cigarette proponents may claim that the chemical aerosol emitted by these products is completely harmless and only contains “water vapor.” It’s worth noting that water typically isn’t an ingredient in these products.

  • Research shows that e-cigarettes and vaping devices can produce high levels of harmful ultra-fine particles that can irritate or damage the respiratory system.  These products produce a dense visible aerosol of liquid sub-micron droplets consisting of glycols, nicotine, volatile organic compounds, and carcinogens (e.g., formaldehyde, metals like cadmium, lead, & nickel, and nitrosamines).  So while some may believe the product is “safer” than a conventional cigarette, the use of and exposure to e-cigarettes certainly isn't harmless or risk-free.  Even substances that might be safe for eating have not been tested for safety as a heated, inhaled aerosol.

  • E-cigarettes and vaping devices are completely unregulated – there is simply no way to know what is in one device vs. the thousands of others. They are not one standardized chemical product, but thousands of different ones - many of which are produced off-shore, then bought and sold online with no requirement for ingredient disclosure or quality control.  These devices can also be used to vape a wide range of substances from nicotine e-juice to hash oil to flakka (a synthetic drug).  Some devices even have multiple chambers for vaping different products.

  • Regardless of the debate of whether these products serve a role in cessation, there is simply no need to use them inside shared air spaces (such as workplaces and public places) where others are then subject to the hazardous secondhand emissions.  

  • Alaska should follow the recommendations of experts such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the World Health Organization (WHO); the American Industrial Hygiene Association; and other health and safety organizations that recommend that electronic smoking devices should not be used inside smokefree spaces.

  • Smoking rooms and ventilation systems do not address the health hazards of secondhand smoke.  It’s time for the Alaska legislature to protect everyone’s right to breathe smokefree air in the workplace.

Thank you for letting your lawmakers know why you personally support smokefree workplaces and public places for everyone in Alaska. 

See the full alert: http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51299/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1302547