The Juneau Empire reports two tribes in Southeast Alaska have joined the growing ranks of entities choosing to go smoke-free. The Skagway Tribal Council and Chilkat Indian Village (Klukwan) are now among 36 tribes statewide that have passed smoke-free policies to eliminate the dangers of secondhand smoke in the workplace.
In 2011, the Alaska Federation of Natives, Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp delegates gave unanimous support to smoke-free workplace policies. While 88 percent of Alaska Natives in Southeast Alaska believe that smoking should not be permitted at work, about twice as many Alaska Native adults work at jobs that do not have such protections compared to non-Native adults.
The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium praised the resolutions. “When tribal leadership creates workplace policies that protect tribal members from secondhand smoke, they also support people to quit tobacco. This is a win-win situation,” Andrea Thomas, SEARHC Tobacco Program Manager, told the Juneau Empire.